If you’ve had a great business idea, it won’t stay secret for long. You should expect that others may want to get in on the action too. Right from the start, you should be anticipating that other businesses will target your market and planning what your response will be.
Protecting your brand and intellectual property with trademarks, patents and copyright is an important step. You should also think about how you will distance yourself from the competition.
Think about how you can beat them on the quality and range of your products or services, and by focusing on excellent customer service. Consider price too, but remember that a price war could be disastrous for both of you. Competition should not be the only event that is likely to spur you to build an excellent product. This should be your goal from the outset, where you have 1 competitor or 100.