Most of us are not in the position of starting a business with no competition. Even if your idea is unique, someone is likely doing something similar. Maybe you want to run a small restaurant based on old family recipes. That feels unique — no one else has those recipes — but consumers see it as just yet one more option when looking at places to eat. Your competition includes every other restaurant in town.
As such, rather than fearing competition, you want to learn from it. You can examine the trends. You can find out what worked and what didn’t. Even companies that have gone out of business have stories to tell. That owner may have made a critical mistake that you were considering. You can learn to avoid that mistake without having to make it yourself. That’s invaluable.
Your competition also tells you if there’s a market. This is where there’s a delicate line to walk. If these types of businesses tend to do well, that means consumers want what you’re selling, but it also means they have lots of options. If there is no competition, that could mean that everyone else to try your idea has failed. However, it could also mean that there is a massive unmet need in the local community. You really need to do your research and learn as much as you can before you open your doors.
During this entire process, you want to be thinking about how you’ll structure your company, what types of legal agreements and documents you need, how to create the proper business entity, and much more. It can help to work with an experienced legal team. The steps you take at the very start of your business can have a huge influence on its future viability, so get things started the right way.