How To Deal With Business Competition As a Startup | Dan Martell

How To Deal With Business Competition As a Startup | Dan Martell



– Hi there,
Dan Martell here. Serial entrepreneur, investor
and creator of SaaS Academy and in this video I want to share
with you how to build the right mindset to deal
with competition. If it's throwing
you off your game, I'm gonna walk you through how
to get clear and actually look forward to having people compete
against you in your market. It might sound crazy but wait
for it and at the end I'm gonna share with you a framework
called "Future Living". It's from my Idea to Exit
seminar so I'd love to share with you how to get that video
training for yourself 'cause I really think it will help
you with the way you think about scaling your company. (upbeat music) So one of the most intense
competitive spaces I ever got into was building
my company Clarity.fm. You know when I started this
I had this nirvana view of the world and we're gonna take it
over and nobody's ever thought of it just quite like this so
I started building a prototype and scaling it up
and it was amazing and then all of a sudden,
I started having people saying, "Oh, it sounds just
like this company." And I'm like,
"Oh, that's interesting." I look at it,
"Yeah, but we're different." Then people'd be like, "Oh, it
sounds just like this company." And they'd send me an
email and I'd look at it, I'd go, "Ooh yeah, well kind
of but a little different." Literally this happened for six
months and I kept an Evernote file of all these different
companies doing stuff 'cause I thought it might be
interesting to reference later but I kept focusing and
focusing and focusing. I'm gonna walk you through how
I dealt with this because the big blow that almost
took me out of the game, really messed with my mind was
when Google announced Helpouts and all of a sudden now
my investors emailed me, all my friends were emailing me. People were tagging me in the
comments below on the TechCrunch article where they announced it. "Google launches Helpouts
to connect service providers with consumers,"
blah, blah, blah. And I'm just like, "Oh my gosh. "Now I've got like a
multi-billion dollar company "competing in this space." But for me I kept
saying the same thing. And it those beliefs
that allowed me to deal with competition to, I mean look,
Google ended up shutting down Helpouts 'cause they had to,
they were doing way too many things and we were focused.
I actually met with their team. So whatever the there but I just
kept going and going and going. After two and a half years,
I felt super lucky and blessed to have been
acquired by Startups.co. And Clarity to this day
continues to be the dominant force in that space of
entrepreneurs getting advice through, essentially if
LinkedIn had a call button that's what Clarity.fm is. So I want to teach you the five
mindsets that I believe that really help me not only deal
with it at the time but really get through it so that I can
continue to create from a place of excitement and abundance. Number one, work backwards. What I mean by this
is focus on the customer. I don't care what the
competitor's doing right now. I always ask myself, "How do I work backwards
for the customer?" I got this incredible advice
from a guy named Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of AirBnB. And I remember when
I first showed him Clarity, Joe looked at the
product and just said, "Who is the patient?
If this is the tool, "who's got the pain that needs
this solution? The patient?" If I'm a doctor and I'm
trying to treat this patient, what tool am I gonna go find in
the market to actually treat the pain that my patient has. I kept, always got to work
backwards from the customer. What are their problems,
their challenges? 'Cause look, competitors
are gonna be out there. They're gonna be doing stuff
but the truth is is most of them don't know what they're
working on anyway so always work backwards from the customer
is just like an overriding principle of dealing
with competition and just building your mindset. Number two,
learn don't distract. My biggest pet peeve is founders
that I coach telling me about well this
competitor's doing X so we're gonna
do the same thing. And what I continuously remind
them is they assume that their competitor actually
knows what they're doing. In 90% of the time I've
realized is that most startups, most companies are executing
strategies and they have no clue if it's gonna work. They're testing.
They're iterating. So the last thing you want to do
is just blatantly copy somebody else's strategies 'cause
you think they're more successful than you.
It's never the case. And they're
winning with that strategy. What I will
encourage you is to learn. If you notice there's a
certain way they do pricing, just use that input from
learning about your competitive set so that you can bring those
ideas to the team but by no means whatsoever should you be
copying things from somebody else you compete against
just because you think that it's working for them. Because you might actually go
down the same rabbit hole and run into the same brick wall
that your competitor's gonna run into if you just blatantly
copy because they're doing it. Number three, you do you. The most unique thing,
the most interesting thing, the most valuable thing
you can do in your startup, in your business is to do you. Is to be 100% you. From a brand point of view. From an energy point of view.
From a product point of view. From your opinions and details
of just what you're creating. I think so often we look
at other businesses being successful and we think well,
we go to do that too. And I'm telling you as a founder
the most important thing that you need to maintain is your
level of excitement and passion towards solving this problem. And if in that journey, as
you're going through it you start doing things that
compromise your values or the way you want to build things,
it actually will stop you from succeeding in the long run
because you're gonna fall out of love with your company. I've seen so many companies
founders that I work with pivot into a different market,
a different segment, a different customer just
because they thought that's what we need to do to be
successful and in doing so they lose the
passion for that industry. They don't care about
that customer and what I always remind them is
the most unique thing, the most interesting potent, fun
thing you can do is just lean in to being who you are
because there's only one. One of you in the world. This isn't like hokey
pokey mumbo jumbo stuff. This is like legit. If you want to build
something interesting, think about what you value and
how you want to do it and just own it and you do you. Number four, life supports
those who support life. And I remember I first heard
this from Tony Robbins and the whole idea is if we give,
if we teach, if we share then by doing that,
the world from an intention point of view
will give back more. And I think bringing an approach
of wanting your competitors to fail and that competitive
friction just messes up with the whole way that the world works. That the rain falls to the
ground to feed the plant that grows to the sunshine and it's
just this beautiful and look this is just the
way I think about life. And again,
it's a mindset aspect. It's like by thinking this way,
you can just restructure your belief systems to look if
somebody comes out, great. They should be successful. I hope the
entrepreneur succeeds. I don't want to wish pain on
anybody but I'm gonna work backwards from my customer and
I'm totally gonna crush it and we are gonna be successful. It's not a zero sum game. Other people can win
and you can win as well. So I just think that that
mindset and that approach to life will really support you. And number five is you attract
what you put out in the world. If you think about this concept,
if you're an angry person, you're frustrated
at your competitor. I can't believe… I had a friend of mine recently
get super pissed off because this other company
copied all their stuff. And look, the end of the
day I'm not for plagiarism. I'm not for people attacking
your business or copying things that are intellectual property
but what I will say is the energy that he
brought to that situation, this anger, this frustration,
this we've got take down, it doesn't bring a
level of abundance. It's dirty.
It feels icky. If you're hiring people,
you're gonna attract people that share those same values. What I think instead is, look,
competitors are gonna show up and the only thing I can do
'cause I can't control that. I can only control the
way I think about that, the beliefs I have
around it and the mindset I approach to my team. When my team asks me like, "Hey, what are we gonna
do about these guys?" And I can say to them, "We're
gonna go back to the customer. "We're gonna focus on the people
that love us and we're gonna "build the best product in
the world 'cause those are "the things that
we can control." Look, I don't want
entrepreneurs to fail. I don't care if
they compete against me. They can go out there and create
the best version of whatever they think is gonna exist. I'm gonna do me. I'm gonna focus on the goodness
and I'm gonna believe in abundance because that's
just a better way to show up. So five things you can do
to improve your mindset when dealing with competition. Number one, work
backwards from the customer. Two, learn don't
distract yourself. Three, you do you. Be unique.
It's what you are. Four, life supports
those who support life. And five, you attract what
you put out into the world. So as I mentioned at
the beginning of this video, I want to share a training
that I put together for my Idea to Exit members.
It was at a seminar. It's called "Future Living" and
it's really how I think about speaking, managing, showing up
in the world in a way that's almost like you're
living the present moment today. I think it'll change the
way that you approach hiring, the way you approach
sales in your business, how you think about
product roadmap and just how you literally show up and
communicate with anybody that interacts with you. Once you understand this,
you'll see this pattern in many of the people that influence
and inspire you to play a bigger game
because it's kind of how great leaders
communicate as it is. So if you click the link below,
you can get access to that training as a gift from me. And if you liked this video I
want to encourage you to hit the like button, share it with a
friend that you care about that you think it could really serve
and leave a comment and let me know what mindset or what belief
did you used to have or that you have now about
dealing with competition. I'd love to hear from you. As per usual, I want to
challenge you to live a bigger life and a bigger business
and I'll see you next Monday. And (humming).

14 thoughts on “How To Deal With Business Competition As a Startup | Dan Martell

  1. im working on an app and today i discovered that i have competition i was devastated but you know what im gonna destroy them!!!!!

  2. Great video Dan.. Decided to share with our private client group of 250+ entrepreneurs and mentoring student partners. https://www.screencast.com/t/VXSBCoRXNH6

  3. Thanks Dan, First revenues this week for us at PreventScripts! We are high off that milestone, but we are excited about the work ahead we'll be doing to help our first customers find success.

  4. Great mindset shifting approaches!!!
    Dan, thank you for sharing your thoughts and approaches to life and business! It really helps

  5. Thanks for this video, Dan! Its come at the right time as I've been having problems dealing with a dirty competitor. They make a similar product to mine and spend a lot on advertising, whereas I concentrated on creating efficiencies and passing the savings on to my customers, believing that eventually the customers would figure it out and start to find me. After a few months this really started to work and I was doubling my sales every 10 days with no advertising, and started to cut in to the #1 competitor's sales. Then they came at me and started paying people to put fake, negative reviews on my product to make it appear that my product was lower quality. This really hurt my sales and they dropped about 75% and are just staying stable now. Its made me angry and hurt my sales momentum. Some competitors play dirty pool and its hard to deal with. I may have to raise my prices and use the extra funds to pay for advertising now. I've been resisting the urge to hit them back.

  6. Awesome stuff Dan, I have realized that even the big competitors in any space are not perfect, that means there is always an opportunity to provide value and take market share. The key for me to keep focused is to just listen to the customer, spend very little time focused on competitors and more time on the solving the customer's needs. Once I see competitors, it reassures me there is a need in the market 🙂

  7. Peter Thiel (Co-Founder & Partner at Founders Fund)
    you want wars to be short. Let that process go on too long and you’ll lose yourself in it. So your strategy must be shock and awe. You have to win very quickly. But since very often it’s not possible to ensure a quick victory, your primary job is to figure out ways not to have war happen at all.

  8. Sue them to exhaust their funds (sic). That's what most companies that become bigger do. It's a cancer of the business world. Great video Dan. You're moving up in subscribers as well. Good to see. You deserve 100K+ for your content.

  9. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination — and there are still days when I struggle with my mind set big time — but for the most part when I look at my competition now, I think, "Good! Let them be successful and attract all the perfect customers for THEM. I'm going to attract all the perfect customers for ME." Because just like we service providers are all unique and different, so are our customers. And not every service provider is a perfect fit for every customer and vice versa. I appreciate my competition for paving the way by educating people through their marketing why they should be even be thinking about using the type of services that we offer. There are literally millions of potential customers in the world — I only need a fraction of them to buy from me to make a really good viable business.

  10. I think I never commented on your videos allthough I've watched already a couple videos of yours. Great video, once again! 😉

    Now I have the impulse to share my opinion to this topic: Business Competition. As I'm a big fan of open source #OpenSourceEnthusiast, I think that businesses should work more hand in hand. Of course this isn't applicable to every business niche, but deffinetly to many! Imagine this…

    Let's take the "Blog Softwares" for example. The most used blogging software WordPress is actually already open source & therfor a good example. WordPress is the most used Open Source blogging software and a powerful CMS. Now, when every "Blog Software" and/or "CMS" business would stop develop their own custom solution & instead work on the OpenSource project, the obvious result would be to have a more robust , flexible WordPress which would benefit everyone. A more robust & flexible WordPress can be used to create more awsome open source products and/or evan actual businesses. This is just an example with WordPress for Blog Softwares. However the results of an active open source community is priceless.

    What do you think?

  11. The process of product creation is taking too long. Meanwhile expenses keep mounting up. Things r feeling super difficult and it feels if i am drowning because i m not able to stay afloat.

  12. Feeling threatened by competitors? Watch this episode for the 5 mindset shifts I used to take on and overcome a 100 billion dollar tech giant.

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