In the internet marketing world and business world in general often times you are just several competitors away from being put out of business. For example, Myspace was a great social media platform until Facebook came along and cherry picked their best features and put them out of business. Whenever you are building a company you need to take into consideration that competition is ruthless. Whenever money is being made people will swarm like sharks and try to steal your ideas and copy you. You are naive if you think you don’t have any competition. In order to stay alive in a cut-throat environment, you need to strategically build your business in a way that limits competitors from being able to copy you easily.
You need to think of your business like a castle. A good castle needs to have fortified walls, and most importantly a good moat to keep off unwanted intruders. What is stopping your competition from directly copying your business model and stealing your customers?
Lets give some examples of what a moat could be in your business. Lets say you have a website that sells expensive furniture made out of rare fabrics only found in the Himalayas. Your moat in this instance could be an exclusive supplier who does not service a broad amount of customers and only produces fabric for your company. How can a competitor possibly copy you if they can’t easily buy the supplies or find a supplier for the special type of fabric?
Lets also say on your website people can get on your email list and you follow up with them with all sorts of special promos that increase the profit margin of your business by 20%. It is easy for a competitor to go to your website to see what you are selling, but its not easy for a competitor to find your entire email follow up sequences and copy it themselves.
These are just a few examples but the point of this article is to make you think about what your competitive advantage is. If you are running a business right now with very limited competitive advantages over your competitors it is very likely that you will go out of business or really struggle in the future.
Keep innovating and find new ways to build an even stronger moat for your business. If you neglect this you will be in for a rude awakening when the intruders storm your castle.