Starting a business – and making it last – is not for the faint hearted. With more entrepreneurs, products and apps springing up by the day, competition is stiff. One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is trying to outdo the competition, a better strategy is to outdo yourself.

Here are 5 easy ways to win at your own game.

1. Start (and maintain) a movement

You might have a great business idea, it might even resonate with your audience, but with how fast technology is moving, a similar idea either already exists or will exist soon enough. With so

many options, consumers make purchasing decisions based on more than just product or functionality – its all about community. Consumers like to feel like you stand for something, and if they stand for the same thing they will support you and advocate for you. If you are digitally native, this seems simple enough but the devil is in the how. Consumers can tell whether you are being real or not, and the tide can turn very quickly. If you say you stand for something, be that, remain that and communicate it effectively.

Read about how Pepsi got starting a movement wrong here.

2. You don’t have to build, you can buy smart

There is a misconception that being a successful entrepreneur is about coming up with that one-in-a-million idea, where often its about taking an existing idea and finding a way to make it better. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you just need to make the vehicle move. For instance, Vuyo Nyama didn’t try to change braai meat, he simply turned it into a lucrative franchise.

Remain constantly on the look out for new business opportunities, thats how you win.

3. Smaller might actually be better

With an increasingly saturated marketplace, it doesn’t always make sense to fight for a slice of an already tiny pie. The key is, niche and hyper targeting. Cut through the clutter and find a dedicated space for your business, focus on a specific consumer. Only once you have cemented your niche, scale.

4. Tell your story

Storytelling is the name of the game, but very few people get it right. The modern consumer wants unfettered access to your business’ psyche – what you like, what you think about, what interests you. Your market is interested in the “it all started in my dad’s garage” story – Its about communicating who you really are to your consumers and forming the relationships that lead to advocacy.

5. Make it easy

A study by Microsoft states that the average attention span of human beings has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to a mere 8 seconds. What this means for you, is you need to be that much faster and smarter about how you communicate with consumers. Make it as easy for potential customers to get the information they need to make their purchasing decision. Make it easy for them to choose you.

There is no formula to succeeding as an entrepreneur, but the first step is definitely running your own race.