I cannot count how many times I have heard entrepreneurs tell me how great their business idea is, because “There is no competition”.
I used to think that the lack of competitors in any particular vertical was a good sign; You know, I would make a killing because “I would be the only one selling remote controlled trash cans in this town”. Chances are, your idea is not a particularly good fit in your market, hence the lack of competition.
I have come to realize that having competitors in business can actually be more of a positive thing than previously considered. Competition can drive success in business for several reasons.
1. Proof of concept.
Venturing into a particular space which has existing successful players may be just the reassurance you need that folks actually want to buy the goods and services you want to offer. If you are lucky enough to be going up against publicly-owned competitors then you can access all the top line sales and figures you need as part of the public record.
Competition pushes companies to innovate. If you are the only players in your market then chances are you have no reason to innovate, but if you have competitors, then you really dig deep to provide the most robust solutions you can.
3. Customer Support
One other way competition affects business is by forcing folks to offer world class customer support as a means to gain market share. You can always provide value above your competitors by offering better customer service.
4. Shorten the learning curve
Observing the competition and seeing where the went wrong and the mistakes they have made will give you a crash course in what not to do in your chosen market. Having competition in your field helps educate you on how to avoid the usual pitfalls in your space.