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Three Ways To Find An Advantage In A Crowded Market

Three Ways To Find An Advantage In A Crowded Market

Three Ways To Find An Advantage In A Crowded Market

It may seem that some industries today are so full of competition that it is hardly worth jumping into. But don’t be put off by the crowded market.

Savvy small business owners are still gaining a competitive advantage in industries where you would not think it already exists. Consider these tips gathered from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs who have found ways to make their businesses stand out in the crowd.

1. Personalize the customer experience.

When you are a pioneer in the field, you gain an edge, but you have to be creative to stay ahead as competitors enter the fight.

Yaniv Bensadon, founder and CEO of FixYa.com

Photo courtesy of Roijoy Photography

Take FixYa.com, which was launched in 2005 and was one of the first question and answer websites. This site helps people solve technical problems with personal devices and home appliances – whether it’s a mobile phone or a dishwasher. Based in San Mateo, California, the company connects the owners of similar products and provides them with a way to ask each other questions and get answers.

“I’ve found that the best person to help a person with BlackBerry is another BlackBerry user,” said founder and CEO Yaniv Bensadon, 41, noting that it was an alternative to a half-world call center solution.

But in the last few years, there has been an increase in Q&A websites, including Yahoo and Quora.com, which were launched in 2005 and 2010. Although these sites do not specialize in troubleshooting products such as FixYa, Bensadon says that they can be used to get any answers. So Bensadon has found new ways to make FixYa more user-friendly and social.

The company, with 60 employees, recently redesigned its website and added new social and interactive features to offer its 11.5 million registered users a more personalized experience.

For example, people can create their own network of popular “experts” on the web. And people who log in via Facebook can see their friends’ posts.

FixYa will also introduce an “on-demand experts” feature in the next few months, which allows people to sell technical support services by creating their own expert profiles on the web and users can rate them. FixYa earns a commission for any business secured through its site.

Bensadon’s work: Look for ways to offer personalized environments and interactive features that make your product or service more user-friendly. “When you only have a content page, users usually find you on Google,” he says. As a social network, “there is much more trust and credibility as well as involvement.”

2. Be a trendsetter and redefine a common product or service.

When selling a product that is so common that it is considered a commodity, consider preconceived, even non-congruent ways to develop your place and gain market share.

Roy Liebenthal, founder of Pop Burger and Pop Pub

Photo courtesy of the company

That’s what New York restaurateur Roy Liebenthal did when he opened his first Pop Burger in 2003. He tailored the traditional fast food concept and added some upscale twists.

The original 4,000-square-foot Pop Burger Restaurant in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District includes a burger counter connected to a luxurious lounge serving wine and cocktails. Liebenthal has hired Turkish designer Ali Tayar from New York to create a more modern, contemporary atmosphere full of descriptive food-related phrases that light up the walls – far from what you expect in traditional burgers. .

“The idea of ​​tucking a lounge behind a burger counter was a bit of a ban on prohibition,” says Liebenthal, 48.

While other luxury burgers have emerged since Liebenthal founded Pop Burger, he has continued to expand – in 2007 it opened a larger second billiards branch. And in May this year, he opened the third burger restaurant in New York – Pop Pub – near New York University.

A bar in New York’s Pop Burger.

Photo courtesy of the company

Like its original Pop Burger, which in itself generates annual revenues of around $ 3.5 million, Pop Pub retains a hipster atmosphere. It offers an extended menu, including items such as lobster rolls and breakfast, and boasts over 50 beers.

Liebenthal’s work: Don’t keep up with trends in your field, be a trendsetter and embark on your own path. Liebenthal attributes his success to thinking outside the box and redefining what a burger is.

3. Provide a neglected, poorly served piece of the market.

If you’re late in a popular and crowded industry, look for a part of the market that’s not getting enough attention – and find the best way to meet that need.

Poggled founders Joe Matthews (left) and Sean Strother

Photo courtesy of the company

In early 2009, Joe Matthews and Sean Strother founded Poggled.com, a Chicago-based social network for sharing specialty drinks and nightlife in the city. But a year later, they noticed the explosive growth of “day-to-day stores” such as Chicago-based Groupon.com. Matthews completed a master’s degree in business administration taught by the founder of Groupon and, through working with him, was able to raise $ 500,000 in venture capital to redesign Poggled and turn it into a business site.

But Poggled narrowed its focus to the special needs of nightclubs. For example, instead of just one-time discounts, the company offered ongoing offers that can only be redeemed on a slow night during the week or before midnight, when many nightclubs are still empty. New offers are sent by e-mail to Poggled subscribers – as are other sites with daily offers – but they do not expire in 24 hours. Agreements can remain active for weeks or months.

Poggled has about 40,000 e-mail subscribers in the Chicago area and recently began offering deals in New York and Denver. It expects to expand to several other cities in the coming months.

Matthews Council: Rather than trying to serve every customer, satisfy those who have unique needs. For example, nightclubs “don’t want 1,000 pending coupons” that people can use at any time, “says Matthews, 30.” They want people to go on nights off. “

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