CE#558: 4 Ways to Outdo Your Competitors (Mashable)

1. You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel

Many first-time entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they need to blaze a new trail to be successful. Of course, the market always needs innovators, but a business doesn’t necessarily have to be disruptive in order to succeed.

Rather than struggling to come up with a brand new idea, take a look at your target industry and see where there’s a void to be filled. Then, figure out the best possible way to service that need and run with it. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee, but they did revolutionize the coffee shop by selling an experience along with a caffeine fix.

These days there may be more than 17,000 Starbucks all over the world, but other coffeehouses around the country are finding a niche. From Smokey Row in Des Moines, Iowa, to Rock City Café in Rockland, Maine, local coffee shops are succeeding by promising more than a cup of coffee and a place to sit. They’re tapping into some of the most primal elements — community, connectedness, security and comfort.

Your product and service may be similar in many aspects to that of the competition, except for a few defining factors — and those are the key to everything. You should be good (or great) at all the basics, and then put your energy and focus on being exceptional at what makes you different.

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