There is Always A Way To Compete

Forbes looks at the rise of a business most people thought was dead – the independent video store.

Big video-rental chains have been kicking small shops in the teeth for years-which makes Christine Min's feat all the more impressive. Last month Min celebrated the first-year anniversary of her store, Get Reel Video, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Better yet, she is already in the black.

"We're more of an art-house store," says Min. "We sell 'indie' films, documentaries and foreign films-movies you don't find in Blockbuster or the other independent stores around here."

That is what strategy is all about. You have to figure out what you can offer that your competition can't. If they are niching it out, you should become the one-stop-shop. If they are aggregating everything under one roof, you should niche it out. Most industries play follow the leader, so if you are willing to experiment and try counterintuitive things, you can often stumble on surprising lucrative customer groups that no one else is targeting.