‍A big part of owning a business is competition. But it’s an important part that stimulates the economy and drives innovation. So, to stay ahead of the competition, we must work harder in defining our niche than following industry trends. In this article let’s discuss:

  • What is a niche?
  • How to Define Your Niche
  • Invest In Yourself to Stay Ahead of Competition


In competitive industries saturated with companies selling similar products or services, it can be very hard to break through the sea of competitors.

In doing so, business owners make mistakes that can cost them a lot of valuable time and money.

We can fall into the trap of following trends, which is not inherently a bad thing. It’s great to keep up with new industry standards and developments and sometimes being an early adopter can actually allow you to gain a lead in the market. But we have to be careful in avoiding trends that take away from the value and perspective of our business.

The two biggest ways we do that are by

  1. Price competition
  2. Untargeted marketing

You can learn more about why these two trends can hurt businesses in our video here:

The best way to avoid this spiral is by defining your niche.

What is a Niche?

A niche by definition is a “specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”

We at ActionCOACH define it to mean no price competition. Businesses we should never compete on price because someone will always be willing to offer “the lowest prices in the market.” Someone will always be willing to undercut you and if you keep playing the game, after a while, you lose the profit.

That’s why we must find other ways to differentiate our business from the competition.

I’ll explain this with a funny story I heard:

The owner of a barbershop, Todd, operates on the corner of a busy street. One day he sees a new hairdresser open up across the street. He at first isn’t worried and welcomes the happy competition. After a few weeks, he sees a sign in front of the new shop that says, “Now offering $6 haircuts.”

This provides a predicament for Todd as many people flock to this deal and he worries about how he can compete with $6 haircuts. He thinks about it all night and wakes up the next morning with a grand idea.

That morning he puts a sign in front of his new shop that says, “We fix $6 haircuts.”

The moral of the story is, prospects do not buy based upon price alone; what they really buy is VALUE and CONFIDENCE- confidence in you and your product.

How to Define Your Niche

We actually wrote an article about defining your niche last year that is still very relevant and informative for businesses to implement.

To sum it up, the key is to distinguish yourself from the competition by offering something unique. You can do this by defining your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

In this article, I’ll be adding to that list with lessons from salespersons who have successfully distanced themselves from the competition.

  1. Go the Extra Mile – Going the extra mile, means doing more for a customer than they expect, demand or pay for.  It is doing all the little extras that communicate they care and that their client’s business is important to them.
  2. Be a Resource – Don’t just sell your product, sell yourself.  Being a resource, you’re asked for advice, counsel, and opinions on many related or unrelated issues.   Bring creative ideas and information to their customers with regularity.
  3. Be Authentic and Real – Vulnerability and humility are valuable traits. Be consistent in your behavior, as it comes from a constant set of core values, beliefs and attitudes.
  4. Have Passion for What You Do – And have passion for your product. Have passion fro what it can do for the customer and how it can solve their needs.
  5. Believe In Your Product – Believe in yourself, mission, organization, products and services, management, and the free marketplace that permits us to help others while we help ourselves.
  6. Stay Focused – It is critical to maintain focus. Every day, every activity, every call and every working moment should aim at a specific target. In order to be effective, we must do one thing at a time. Even if we have multiple projects going on simultaneously, we are only working on one moment by moment.
  7. Offer Excellent Customer Service – Resolve any issues that arise quickly and effectively. Become intimately familiar with the problems customers are experiencing and work with them to find a solution. Keep customers happy to create raving fans that will share your business.
  8. Study Your Target Audience – Become a walking encyclopedia of information about your customers.   Know their objectives, problems, frustrations, expectations, style of doing business, needs, dreams and their people. Become one of them. Stay on the lookout for methods, tools, ideas, and information that you can bring to clients to help them improve performance, success, income, market penetration, positive growth, and longevity.
  9. Focus on the Big Picture – Don’t get caught up in the day to day problems in your business or else you’ll never get ahead. Keep in mind the vision you have for your business and stay true to that.
  10. Invest In Yourself – The key to success is personal growth. We must arm ourselves with improved skills, greater understanding, and increased awareness to beat competitors. Personal growth means many things to different people. What we’re referring to here is the consistent pursuit of knowledge and wisdom (the use of knowledge) that will allow us to continue to compete and win in the marketplace of tomorrow.

Invest In Yourself to Stay Ahead of Competition

A great way to invest in yourself that many of your competitors are not doing is talking to a business coach. We offer a ton of free resources for you to define your niche, grow your business and outhink competitors.

Some of these complimentary resources include our monthly “6 Steps to a Better Business” seminar. We hold these events twice a month around the Indianapolis area. We’d love for you to join us.