Competition is a cornerstone of American capitalism. When there are other businesses trying to provide the same services or goods that your company offers, you need a way to convince consumers to choose you over them.
Maybe you have a better product or offer more thorough service. Maybe your price is more affordable. Maybe your location is more convenient. There are numerous ways to successfully compete even in an industry with established and successful businesses.
Unfortunately, some companies will try to force your company out of business through unfair competition. What are common forms of unfair competition that could harm your business?
Leaving fabricated reviews online
The ability of consumers to make reports to the Better Business Bureau online or to leave reviews on a company’s own website or a third-party platform creates accountability for companies. Other people could quickly see how a product broke or the shoddy service that a professional provided.
Some companies will abuse these platforms to make unsubstantiated claims about their competitors. If you have recently noticed an influx of negative reviews that you cannot connect to any actual customers or clients, a competitor could be the one driving all of that negative online chatter.
Engaging in corporate espionage
As your company becomes successful, it will have information that may be valuable to other businesses in the same industry. Your trade secrets might be what allow you to compete in an otherwise saturated market.
Other companies could try to illegally access your company’s information. Examples of corporate espionage include burglary or sending someone to seek employment at your company with the intention of taking information back to the competing business.
Trying to set prices to push you out
Price-fixing is a way for multiple businesses to coordinate an attack on another company in the same industry. If all of your competitors drop their prices below what you can charge while still making a profit, you could quickly lose your customer base. After you go out of business, your competitors will then increase their prices, possibly to even higher than they were before you started competing with them.
Being able to recognize unfair competition can help you protect your business from the illegal conduct of other companies.