Think about it: competition is a good thing, in fact it is one of the most important things you need to grow your business and your community. Yet for some reason we have become a society that practically shuns the word. We want all of our children to be valedictorians, every athlete to get a trophy and every business owner to be exclusive in their community. The sad part is we think we are helping, when in fact we are robbing our children, our businesses and our communities of the one thing they truly need in order to remain vital and strong. The one thing they need to grow.
Ever wonder why car dealerships and fast food restaurants all locate in the same part of town? Or why WalMart invites the stores who sell the exact same products as they do to open right next door? Companies don’t do this because they want to be nice or there is nowhere else in town to locate, they do this because they know the stronger the competition, the more sustainable and vital their business will be. They embrace their competition.
3 Reasons To Embrace Your Competition:
1. Pushes You! I don’t care who you are, how passionate you are about your business, or how amazing you are at what you do, without a little competition you will get soft, lazy and never really reach your full potential. Nothing like a competitor who develops a new product, enhances their service, or develops a new promotional campaign to get your adrenaline going and your creative juices flowing. Competition keeps you at the top of your game, gets you out of your box, and gives you the push you need to go to the next level.
2. Builds Your Market! When Crest came out with whitening strips everyone thought this would hurt the dental industry and dental practices. I mean why go to the dentist when you could get it faster, cheaper and easier right off the shelf? But in fact, it turned out to be just what the dental industry and dental practices needed to re-energize the field. Crest’s inventing and taking white strips to market put dentistry back on the map. Why? Because Crest, by becoming major competitors to dentists, raised the awareness of tooth whitening, dental care, and the beauty of a smile. Sure they were and are competition for dental practices, but they have done far more to expand consumer demand for dental services. Their competitive product increased demand and expanded the market. Nothing better than a strong competitor to raise consumer demand.
3. Defines Your Niche! News flash — not everyone wants to do business with you, and you don’t want to do business with everyone. Thank goodness for competition. What you sell, offer or provide is a commodity, but how you sell it and who you sell it to is your competitive advantage. Competition allows you to better understand your product or service, who values what you have to offer, and who the right target market is for you. Competition prevents you from having to be all things to all people and allowing you to work with those customers and clients you enjoy and who will pay for your service. Defining and servicing your niche desensitizes your customers to price and makes them willing to pay for value. Since they have a choice, they are doing business with you, not your product.
Anyway you cut it, competition is a good thing! Your major competitor develops a new product? Your chamber recruits your arch rival to town? The building next to you just sold to someone courting your largest customer? Congratulations! You just got the green light to push yourself, innovate and take your business to a whole new level. Now go embrace your competition!