growing
Oranges and an Apple

How to Differentiate Your Business From the Competition

by Cidnee Stephen

The other night, I was out at my favorite sushi restaurant. We go there quite regularly because both my son and I are in love with their rolls, especially their Signature Dynamite Roll. Being the marketer I am, I couldn’t help but notice, as the little boats floated around with various dishes, that others must... Read more »

growing
How to effectively create brand loyalty

Want to Establish Brand Loyalty? Send ’em to a Competitor!

by Bobby Marhamat

When you’re just starting a new business, you want to make sure that you can offer your customers things that your competitors can’t. If you want to remain in business and ahead of your competition, it’s best to try to best them whenever you get the chance. Right? Well, that’s actually not such an easy... Read more »

starting
Build a Competitor Profile

Build a Competitor Profile for Clues to Delivering Better Value

by Mike Quill

When considering how to position a product in the market place or developing the ideal go-to-market strategy, a small business owner needs to examine a number of market factors. Chief among those factors will be the product’s primary competitors. Understanding them gets you one step closer to knowing how to deliver better value to your... Read more »

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iStock_000005451658XSmall

Tips for Conducting Online Competitor Analysis

by Helen Major

One thing that many new businesses take for granted is that their competitors are the same companies online and offline. While it’s often the case that the same company controls market share in both sectors, when you start looking at the complex landscape of keywords and user dynamics, the competition increases and new players enter... Read more »

planning
startup_america_parternship1

Join the Sign up Your Startup Challenge and get free tools to help your business succeed

by Palo Alto Software

Business is all about competition. If you’re not competing against other businesses for customers or market share, you’re competing against yourself, trying to beat previous revenue figures. To make it as a small business owner, you’ve got to have that competitive spirit. We’ve got the spirit here at Bplans. In fact, we’ve launched a fun... Read more »

growing
300px-Caterham_7_-_starting_line

Keep a Close Eye on the Competition.

by Susan Solovic

The sluggish economy continues to be an issue for small business owners.  And now it appears competition may be getting tougher too.  According to the Guardian Life Small Business Trends Research Report, larger companies will aggressively market to prospects once considered “too small.”  That means those of us who own small businesses may find ourselves... Read more »

growing
icecreamcone

No competition? Not possible!

by Noah Parsons

Your business idea is brilliant. Nobody else is doing it. You’ve got no competition. It’s sure to be a gold mine, right? Maybe. One mistake many new businesses make is thinking that just because nobody else is doing exactly what they’re doing, their business is a sure thing. The smart thing to do is ask... Read more »

growing

Do You Recognize These Problems With Business Negotiations

by Tim Berry

Greg Dannis is a lawyer who’s spent a career working with school districts in California. He’s a founding partner at Dannis, Wolver & Kelly, in San Francisco. I just finished reading his article Labor’s Lessons in the California Public Employees Relations Journal. Greg writes about labor contracts in schools, specifically; he’s been involved in that... Read more »

growing

What If Somebody Else Launches First?

by Tim Berry

A friend asked me this in twitter: What to do when you’re launching a company and competition launches 3 months before you ? Build on top of what the competition is doing. Slipstream. Let them pave the way, let them break the ice, and you follow along with a different angle, or different spin. I’ve... Read more »

starting
SandraB

No Need to Call the Fashion Police

by Palo Alto Software

In most lines of work, people ripping off your ideas or designs is a bad thing. Illegal, even. But such is not the case in the fashion world, where not only is copying legal, but some say it’s beneficial. As the old cliche goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Turns out it may... Read more »

growing

The Retail Landscape

by David Shear

David Shear continues his series on the state of retail. Success in retail depends on your company’s current understanding of the overall retail landscape. You may have understood where retail was two years ago, you may have had your finger on the pulse in 2007, but the market isn’t what it was two years ago.... Read more »

starting

What If There Are Already Lots of Competitors?

by Tim Berry

New kinds of businesses, based on entirely new ideas, are extremely rare. The vast majority of new businesses are new attempts at existing types of business. And that’s fine. Don’t ever focus too much attention on the new idea, as if that were the only foundation for a good new business. For a specific example,... Read more »

K-Splice Wins Forbes Business Plan Contest

by Tim Berry

Over on Forbes.com they’ve announced the winner of the $100K Boost your Business business plan contest for 2009. It’s K-Splice, the startup of a group of MIT engineers who have a new and presumably better way to do operating system updates en masse without having to close and restart systems. The $100,000 that K-Splice won is... Read more »

Contest: A Product Launch Challenge

by Tim Berry

Cornell University is celebrating a new online product design and development certificate program with an inauguration event contest on this blog awarding the best story about “your biggest challenge when launching a new product or service.” The winner and, for that matter, any other good entries, will appear on this blog as long as it... Read more »

Win $100K to Boost Your Business In 2009

by Tim Berry

Now is a great time to develop your entry for the annual Forbes.com Boost Your Business contest. First prize is $100,000, which comes as $50,000 cash plus $50,000 in advertising. This is your chance. Unlike the MBA-level contests sponsored by major business schools, this contest is open to just about any company. To enter your... Read more »

growing

Ask Seth Anything

by Palo Alto Software

On May 11th, Ted.com gave people the opportunity to ask Seth Godin anything. And they did. And Seth answered. This one I particularly liked: How can small business coffee shops survive a Starbucks next door? — Pascal Lacroix By being not only different, but better in ways Starbucks cannot. You can’t win by imitating them.... Read more »

Tulane Business Plan Competition

by Tim Berry

Tulane University’s $40,000 Tulane Business Plan Competition is accepting entrants until Feb. 15. First prizes of $20,000 each are offered for both the traditional entrepreneurship track and the social entrepreneurship track. Entrants have to be seeking outside capital, must be teams of two to six people and must have at least one full-time student as a... Read more »

growing

Rice, Entrepreneurship Education, Congrats!

by Tim Berry

I was happy to see the news release this morning, about Rice Alliance of Rice University’s entrepreneurship center winning the USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) annual award for the outstanding specialty entrepreneurship program. No, I’m not an alum there, but yes, I’m proud to say I’ve visited twice in recent years. I participate... Read more »

Women 2.0 Startup Competition

by Tim Berry

Here’s a really interesting, and still timely, startup pitch competition for the half of the world that’s eligible. The Women 2.0 Startup Competition happens this coming spring. You still have until early April to get the business plan done, and a couple of weeks past that for the 7″x7″ summary on a napkin and the... Read more »

planning

Know your competition

by Steve Lange

Time and again we’ve read a plan where someone thinks they have a unique service or product and proclaims they have no competition. Wrong. So very wrong. Everyone has competition. It’s a fundamental. This week our Back to the Fundamentals article points out that Competitors are a fundamental reality of doing business. Read more »