The whole idea of starting a business is a big deal. Where do you start? What are you going to do? Will there be competitors? What if …?
The questions are endless and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s a learning process. Hindsight is nasty things to get wrapped up in. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda … Urghhh.
One big factor is competition.
Do I have competitors? Who are they? What do they do? How am I different?
Here is something really important. Competitors are good! Competition is good.
Because it means someone has already qualified and verified that a market exists. It means that there is money to be made. Opportunities exist. It also means you need to be good! It will push you for the right reasons.
Everything else is secondary. Price, Service, Product, Market … it’s all secondary stuff. Really!
Unlike selling physical product or being a provider of a service, the value in being an educator has very little to do with the here and now. Education is 99% about tomorrow.
Education is also not an expense. Your client is not buying something which will become obsolete in future. Your client is not wanting you to do a half arsed job as soon as possible and leave before they run out of budget.
Your client is investing … in themselves. The client will get their return in the future many times over.
So what does this mean for competition?
When it comes to education, you can niche yourself down to a macro or microscopic level.
You and your closest competitor both educate people in how to achieve financial independence. I’m using this example because at the end of the day … that’s should be an end goal for each and every person out there.
Your competitor educates their client on how to enter the residential property market.
You educate people on how to enter the commercial real estate market. This is your first point of difference. Technically you’re both educating the same potential client in and with different information. This is the first point of deconfliction.
Added to this, your competitor specialises in and focuses their attention on young families.
Now as it turns out you’re targeting the same people.
Problem? Not what you might think.
You see because of the different education to the same people, it turns out you and your competitor are ‘indirect’ competitors. You do different things aimed at the same audience.
If and only if you did the same thing for the same audience would you be ‘direct’ competitors. If this is the case, value is everything.
However the education business model is very tolerant of competition.
When it comes to educating people in high value information and skill the cost of the education is (and should be) quite high. After all you only want serious clients, and (you’re reading this right) you don’t want each and every single client.
For a $7,000 education you only want 30-40 clients per year. Why? Because after they’re educated you will need to support them. You do not want to be supporting hundreds of clients, no matter how much money there is.
In fact when it comes to coaching and education, a higher price tag actually works in your favour because of the perception it creates with the client.
At the end of the day, knowledge and the education of clients is very highly niched and even ‘direct’ competition will have points of difference. Some educators will teach two or three philosophies. Another educator will teach three philosophies but only one between both parties will overlap. 66% difference.
If you have further separation with a different audience and market you’ll find yourself in a virgin territory. Even if your competition does the same thing it still works in your favour because the client will get the same information twice which will add validation to your offering. In the most collaborative case, you and your competition can even swap notes … perhaps!
The chances of finding an exact direct competitor in education is extremely small. And that means the opportunities for you to take your skills and teach your client are huge.