Crushing the new competitor?

Last week a young lady called to enquire about executive selling strategies training. She plans to open an art gallery and needs to be a sharp salesperson. She’ll go to Haiti, buy pieces she loves and sell them in her gallery at a profit. But first she needs to learn advanced selling skills. My next course is scheduled for March 2013 and she can’t wait.

‘Do you have a business plan?’
‘Yes. Did it myself. Does it matter who wrote my business plan?”
‘What about formal training or experience in business.’
‘That’s quite limited, actually. My major was Spanish. And I was never really into the business side of business.’
‘How about marketing? Ever worked in marketing or had formal training?’

She’s not gushing anymore. Answers are slower in coming. And I sense she’s really examining her state of preparedness.

‘Marketing? No. Not really. But I understand marketing. I’ve been around long enough.’
‘Who is your target market?’
‘Not so sure. I guess anyone who buys art.’
‘Who are your competitors, where are they, how are they doing, and how will they respond to your entering their space?’
‘Never thought of that. Hmmmmmh. Seems like I’m not quite ready to start my art gallery as yet. Can I do some research on what we’ve been discussing and get back to you within a week?’

McDonald (2007.7) reminds us that ‘…since what our competitors do so vitally affects our own decisions, it is necessary to find some way of monitoring this and other elements of the environment and of bringing this into our decision-making process.’

Come to think of it; how will a new art gallery do in Kingston Jamaica at this time? Well? Very well? Or go the route of 90% of all new businesses?

Good luck young entrepreneur!


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