ANALYSIS OF COMPETITOR FACTORS AFFECTING SALES PERFORMANCE OF SMALL-SCALE TRADING ENTERPRISES IN KENYA
Ideally businesses regardless of size need to constantly re-evaluate their position relative to the market, develop and successfully implement competitive strategies in order to survive the unrelenting competition, grow and thrive. For small scale businesses, competitor analysis is, therefore, an imperative for their survival. Thus, it was of interest to the present study to examine how small-scale trading enterprises tackle competition to increase sales performance. The study, therefore, sought to examine the influence of competitor factors on sales performance of small-scale trading enterprises in Kenya focusing on Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kitui counties. It specifically sought to establish the influence of threat of new potential entrants, influence of substitute products, bargaining power of suppliers and buyers and rivalry among competitors on sales performance of the trading enterprises. The study was guided by the Resource-Advantage Theory. The study adopted a descriptive-exploratory research design targeting 397 randomly selected small scale trading enterprises in Kenya focusing on Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kitui Counties. Data was collected using pretested questionnaires and analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. It emerged that competitor behavior had no statistically significant effect on the sales performance of small-scale trading enterprises in Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kitui Counties in Kenya. The entrance of new competitors in Nakuru and Nyandarua Counties was offset by the practice of coopetition. The effect of differentiation was negated by imitation. The study recommended that the dimension of coopetition be reviewed as without meaningful competition, the businesses will lose their competitive edge.