My maybe not-so-hot-take: The market you're in defines your revenue potential.
People overstate the difficulties of performing in a crowded market. In my opinion, it's much easier to go to a market that already exists than attempt to create a new product category that might require a lot of awareness campaigns before a purchase.
As such, I also think that there are some heuristics to help you become more competitive in a crowded market:
Differentiate and innovate vertically. For Embarque.io, we've managed to differentiate by creating conversion-first SEO content that is also optimized for the brand and the intended audience. We've also refined our content strategy to cater to early-stage businesses. While countless competitors do SEO content, we've done enough market research to learn how to differentiate ourselves enough for people to choose us over others.
Learn about the most relevant pain points with scalable solutions. SEO content creation is much more scalable than offering consultancy advice or providing a high-level strategy. People will always need SEO content to flywheel their SEO strategy.
Another scalable offering is creating marketing and transactional emails. eCommerce relies on these emails to close sales and such. People will always need email copywriters.
My point here is this: figure out which tasks allow your product or service to scale. Ask your clients. Ask your users. Ask people who could potentially be your customers. This is the most important thing to consider when competing in a crowded market. You need to know what processes are actually in demand. Otherwise, you might be competing in a category no one actually wants.
Focus on your branding. I can't overstate the importance of branding. Think of it as your product's personality. Your product might be excellent, but if you can't reach your target customers and win them over, it's going to be hard to survive as a business.
Become a quality leader. Easier said than done. But quality leadership can really boost each customer's lifetime value and allow you to enter long-term relationships with your clients.
Flywheel your distribution. Define a distribution process, double down on it, and find new ones. This is more of an acquisition strategy, but it's a mental framework that can really allow you to grow sustainably, until you're a considerable player in this crowded market.
Any tips you want to share? What do you think about competing in a crowded market?