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Blog Post By Harriet Gordon

Competition good for start-ups?

For this month’s SignLink (June) I spoke to Zoe Berisford, the nineteen year old owner of Exe Signs. I found her story really interesting — she turned down a place at university to set up her own company, which has been going for a couple of months. It was so far away from anything I could imagine doing myself, especially at 19 and especially in the sign industry.

In its first few months Exe Signs has done really well, and I really do wish Zoe the best of luck for the future. This story was still fresh in my mind when I came across an interesting article about start-ups. It is from Management Focus, and considers the notion that being exposed to increased competition in the early stages of a firm’s life can actually be beneficial.

According to research done by the publication, companies that are brought up in a crowded market space have a higher three-year survival rate than those born in less competitive markets.

According to research done by the publication, companies that are brought up in a crowded market space have a higher three-year survival rate than those born in less competitive markets. The writers suggest that starting in a tough market has an immunisation effect, forcing them to develop efficiency that can cope with future competition.

These days, I don’t expect there are many markets which aren’t competitive. Any small start-up that can survive and prosper in these economic conditions will surely be able to tackle most things the competition throws at it. At the age of 19, Zoe is probably (hopefully) experiencing the economy at its worst — if she can withstand these first few years she should be well hardened to the business world by the time she hits her mid twenties. That’s the good thing about rock bottom — the only way is up.

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Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 10:12 GMT
User since 31/05/2013

The rest of us must be doing something wrong, starts up a business from cold, no experience, no clients, no advertising just word of mouth only, turns over £5k in the first month, average of 12 jobs a week, already needs 2 staff, as my children would say, really? And dad has just sold his share in another local sign firm, is it too obvious to put 2 and 2 together on this one?

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