Knowing your Competition. #1
for your own Strategic Planning & Pitching to Investors
from the Blog of Ben Yoskovitz, VP Products (a Serial Entrepreneur & Founding Partner at Year OneLabs.com, an early stage accelerator in Montreal, Canada. Enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz 2/13
What Investors are looking for.
Whenever I get pitched by a startup, I always look to see if they’ve properly identified the competition. For starters, I can guarantee you that someone else is already working on your idea. It’s a universal truth. But more importantly than that, competitive research & analysis is one of those areas that is often horribly lacking from any pitch. There are a few reasons for this:
1. Entrepreneurs don’t want to know.
Nobody likes to find a bunch of competitors doing the same (or nearly the same) thing. So entrepreneurs put blinders on. If you can’t do it objectively, find someone who can – even if you have to hire someone. It’s that important in knowing and conveying your advantages.
2. Entrepreneurs are thinking too small.
This is too often the case, where they are looking at the local market as their entry point. They need to do more research to find out what the potential is elsewhere is beyond that – the state, the country, the world. Is the market growing? How fast?
3. Entrepreneurs have big Egos,
which makes them believe what they’re doing is unique & awesome. Egos are needed – so that you have a “passion” for your product – but not if they blind you completely. You have to be realistic. What does your competition do well? What do you do well? Why should someone buy your product instead of the competition?
4. Entrepreneurs don’t bother looking.
This comes down to not tackling your startup in a diligent, rigorous manner. Too often entrepreneurs get an idea, think they’ve hit a home run and start running wildly (in any & all directions.) instead of step by step, round the bases. You need to do a little planning. A Biz Plan of your entire venture, then an Action Plan of how to get to your goals. Review it frequently and revise it as needed.
[Meeting the “challenge” of your Competition, doing Due Diligence, using your Advantages to be beat them – continued in Premium Content]