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Why You’re Almost Certainly Overestimating the Competition

Why You’re Almost Certainly Overestimating the Competition

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
1 min read

“Threats” is one of the four areas of focus in SWOT analysis, a classic model to help plan your business strategy.

As a freelancer or consultant, you’re probably not doing a full SWOT analysis, but you may have thought about the competition. You might be concerned that they’re going to “eat your lunch” like a bully rifling through backpacks on the playground.

You’re almost certainly making three mistakes when it comes to your competition:

  1. They may not be as successful as you think. You may think people are lined up to pay top dollar because your competition has great marketing. That may not be true.
  2. Your market is enormous and beyond the capacity of you, your competition, and a hundred more to providers to service.
  3. Viewing competition as a permanent condition when it isn’t. There’s nothing that says you can’t leave the market.

Periodically checking on the state of your market might be good, only because it has some bearing on the price you can charge. But that only applies if you’re directly competing by offering a commodity service.

The real answer is to forget the competition, and create a brand new category or market so there are no competitors whatsoever.