Let’s go back to the cat family.
Me can’t get enough of them. So which of the cat family should we talk about?
This cat is the smallest of the four big cats. The other three being the Tiger, Lion, and Jaguar.
This cat is the least social and most elusive of the African big cats (Jaguars are usually found in South America while India is the home for Tigers).
This cat’s hunting technique is either to ambush its prey or stalk it. It tries to get as close as it can to the prey. After which, he runs, pounces and kills the prey with a bite to the neck, all in one move. Sleek, right?
The key to the tactics of this cat, is the element of surprise. Once the hunt turns to a foot race, the cat backs down.
This cat is called the Leopard.
It must compete for food and shelter with other large predators e.g. Lions and Hyenas, who steal food from the Leopard and sometimes kill it.
Thus, the Leopard co-exist with these bigger Competitors by hunting for different types of prey and avoiding areas frequented by them. It will retreat up a tree in the face of direct aggression and to hide/ eat its food.
The Leopard’s main prey is the antelope. However, it has an ancient enemy, this is the Baboon(s). More on the Baboons later, hope you know they are your cousins 😜😜😜.
In any and every economy/ market, there will be Competition and if you are upcoming and/ or smaller to your Competitors, you are in for a tough ride. But like the Leopard you need to know and work on two things.
These two things are: Market niche and market fit.
The Leopard will never hunt a buffalo, talk less of an Elephant. It knows and respect its limitation. And living with bigger Competitors, it focus on what they won’t focus on.
Quickie: focus on your focus. Don’t be distracted by what others are hunting aka doing. Don’t take on more than your skill set can handle.
The Leopard carved out a market niche for itself, antelopes or smaller. Though Lions hunt antelopes too, but the larger the pride, the bigger the prey they need. Your large Competitors won’t want to waste resources serving 10 or 100 people when they can serve 1,000.
My guy, go for the 10, serve the under served. Own the customers usually ignored by others.
Market fit is providing the right product for your market niche. Ok, so you have identified your niche, can you satisfy it???
If a Leopard gets lucky and kills a buffalo or bigger, it can never carry it up a tree. The food will go to it’s Competitors. But with the right “product” aka antelope or smaller prey, it will easily go up the tree and eat in peace. Your product/service must satisfy or even exceed the expectations of your consumer.
Identifying your niche might be easy, getting the market fit is where the work is. The smaller the prey the Leopard chases, the faster the prey can run. And remember, the Leopard is not built for speed. So as a young Leopard learning to hunt, you will miss plenty prey. At some presentations, you will fumble and choke up. At some marketing calls, you will talk too much or too soon or not even make sense.
The young Leopard has a mentor, which is its mum. It watches and learn from her. As it grows, it mimics her action while playing. So whether a mentor adopts you or you adopt a mentor from afar, get a mentor.
As earlier mentioned, Leopards and Baboons are mortal enemies. So don’t be unevenly yoked with people who don’t share your belief or philosophy. Study people and know people before you partner with them. Else, you might ended up scarred or worse, dead.
One on one, the Leopard can kill a Baboon. But Baboons usually gang up to attack a Leopard, and since Leopards don’t work in a group, the odds favour the Baboons. An Arab proverb says, you can walk in front of your enemies (aka Competitors) when hungry, but not when naked. Don’t expose yourself to (ridicule by) anyone and everyone. Be guarded/ careful with who you get naked with, sorry I mean, with who you complain to/ discuss your competitive advantage.
So in closing, don’t forget these terms:
Market niche, Market fit, Focus on your focus, serve the unserved/ under serve, and don’t get naked in wrong places.
King Olulu, not from Zulu.
Baboons, Rats or Wolves…which one should we do next???
Building capacity in people using words and poetry.
Please note that all animal pictures were gotten online.