2007-07-24

Pequenos negócios 74
IDENTIFICAR A CONCORRÊNCIA

"There are three types of competitors for a product or service: direct, indirect or substitute, and emerging. Identifying specifically who these companies are--their strengths, weaknesses, and market share--will put the new venture in a better position to be a contender in the industry and particularly in the target market. Direct Competitors. Those businesses supplying products or services that are the same as or similar to yours, or are a reasonbly good substitute for yours, are direct competitors to the new venture. However, be careful: the term competition is not quite that simple. Suppose you are going to open an entertainment center that offers virtual reality computer games in a shopping mall. One possible direct competitor that comes to mind is a video archade. But if you consider your venture to be in the entertainment business, you will see that other direct competitors for the consumer dollars you are seeking are movie theaters, miniature golf courses, bowling alleys, and video rental stores. That certainly complicates the picture, and you will need to have a stategy for competing against each different type of competitor you have now identified. Indirect or Substitute Competitors. Indirect competitors may not even be in the same industry as the new venture but do compete alongside it for consumer dollars. For example, consumers may choose to spend their limited dollars at the movies rather than on an expensive restaurant. Or, a business looking for videoconferencing capability may choose an Internet-based system delivered through an application service provider (ASP) rather than purchase and maintain equipment. When you're considering who your competitors might be, you must look outside the immediate industry and market for alternatives to what you offer. Emerging Competitors. Assess not only the existing competition but also the potential for future competition--emerging competitors. In many industries today, technology and information are changing at such a rapid pace that the window of opportunity for successfully starting a new venture closes early and fast. Consequently, the entrepreneur must be ever-vigilant to new trends and new technology, both in the industry in general and in the specific target market. For example, one engineer/entrepreneur spent several years developing a video-streaming technology. Now that he is ready to consider commercializing that technology, he has discovered to his dismay that not only are there competing (and in some cases better) technologies already in the market through major companies like Microsoft, but there are emerging technologies from major companies that will make his technology obsolete in a very short time. How do you avod such a calamity? You need to stay in touch with your industry and look not only at technologies already in the market, but look at what types of research and development projects are going on at major research universities that might foretell a shift in technology. Journals lik MIT Technology Review regularly look ahead to see where the world of technology is going. In other industries, trade journals, conferences, and trade shows are excellent sources of emerging competitors."


Fonte: Allen, Kathleen R. (2003), Launching New Ventures: An Entrepreneurial Approach, 3rd ed., p. 88-89.

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