Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter said, “Attractive markets are a conundrum. You can look longingly at them, but you can’t enter them easily because of barriers erected by market leaders.” So what are the barriers? And how might they be overcome?
Yes, it can feel like the odds are insurmountable. Yes, it can seem like you’re entering an intimidating arena dominated by huge multinational power players. But even the mighty Amazon started off in a garage. Being small, nimble and smart has its own distinct advantages in established markets. Let’s look at some of the challenges and opportunities.
Look for the gap
Before you enter an overcrowded, highly competitive marketplace, it really pays to do your homework. Who are your competitors? How dominant are they? What are their product, pricing and promotion strategies? Then take a long hard look at yourself. What are your strengths? What can you bring to the market that’s different? And what about the market itself? Are there any unfilled niches your business can slot into? Take Australia for example. Only half of Australia’s fashion businesses have an online presence. So there’s an opportunity right there to target fashion-conscious digital shoppers. The first rule about established markets is: you need preparation with a capital P.