You have a great idea for a Texas mobile app startup, but someone has got there before you. In fact, you’re moving into a crowded vertical or niche. So where to from here? Should you go back to the drawing board, pivot or push ahead?
Here’s what to do if your startup space is brimming with competitors.
Breathe a sigh of relief
Sure, first-mover advantage is a real thing. But at the same time, being the first to create or disrupt a vertical is an expensive, risky undertaking. If others are succeeding in your category, your idea is probably valid. There’s clearly a viable market space along with customer interest.
Additionally, if a problem is already being “solved” by other companies, customers already know about it. Rather than trying to convince them that they need a solution to a problem they didn’t know they have, you’re convincing them that you’re the solution.
Gauge whether there’s room for one more
Similarly, not everything is a winner-takes-all game. If you’re disrupting a major industry, there’s probably room for at least a couple of bigger players. This is especially true if you’re targeting different geographies or demographics with your app. Remember, it’s the size of the pond that matters, not the size of the stone.
If your app can be profitable and enjoy solid market share as-is, then press forward. Not every startup has to be a 10x unicorn. If the competition is too stiff or entrenched, consider a pivot or a review of your USP (unique selling proposition).
Do it better than your competitors
Uber’s a behemoth, sure. But it’s struggled with some serious culture issues. As a result its savvy competitor Lyft has started to encroach on its market share. With its friendly, human branding and initiatives like offering discounted rides to voters during the midterms, it’s the cultural opposite of Uber.
If your Texas mobile app startup is eyeing a space in which there’s a major player, see how you can set yourself apart. Review your brand, your values and your offer to reach a different part of the market. Combine this with a business model that encourages customer switching and you just might become the newest industry disruptor.
Give your data the time of day
If you’re moving into a crowded space, data is key. Don’t waste time and money basing your decisions on assumptions and testing them accordingly. Use the stats and data that are out there to inform every decision you make. Acquire, on-board and respond to your users in a way that’s supported by data at every turn.
For example, don’t spend all your money on Facebook ads when the stats show that users are more likely to download based on a friend’s recommendation. Send offer codes and referral promos instead. A willingness to go against the herd and go with the data could be what makes your Texas mobile app startup a success.
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