“A process of continuous improvement is essential for any business growth. We live in a time when technology can create or negate markets overnight and the key to success is to adapt and improve. Competition is the best motivator for you to become all you can be as a business. Staying one step in front of the best competitors is how we win races.”- David Meerman Scott
A competition provides an opportunity to understand who your competitors are, what they offer, their strengths and weaknesses and how you can outshine them. As long as you have a market for your business, you will have competitiors. The earlier you adapt to this reality, you can start to differentiate yourself. A healthy competition is a catalyst for growth. It challenges you to work smarter and leverage on the team and resources you have. Without competitors in your market space, you have no one to keep you on your toes and then you become too comfortable and fail to do the things that put your business out there.
Although, it can be exhausting and frustrating when you have other people copying you and cheating, ignore all the negatives and focus on the positive side.
Here are 3 ways to think positively about competition and how it can be used to grow your business:
It Drives Innovation
Imagine a world without no competition, it would be so easy for your business to become complacent. No one to push you to explore new opportunities and territories. Your competition drives you to be the best you can be. You are pushed to continually think of ways on how to evolve and offer better products and services that stand you out. You can discover untapped opportunities and use this to improve your business performance.
It Helps You Understand Your Core Market
Being in a competition encourages you to focus on your core audience and how to serve them better. It also helps you keep a close eye on your competitors to understand what has worked for them and what has not. By studying these metrics, not only do you understand the state of your market, you also understand your customers better in terms of their expectations and emotions. From this, you gain valuable insights that help you to develop better products and services that suit their needs.
It Enables Collaboration
Most times, competitors are so focused on defeating themselves that they fail to see the positive potential of a partnership or collaboration for a certain project. The need to collaborate with your competitors can be as a result of the need to expand market, create awareness, and promote your industry, exchange tools/technology and resources. Joining forces with your competitors is a great way to promote your industry as well as build a relationship with them. For example, an event can be organized for all businesses in your industry where you all have to work together.
It is also an opportunity for you to learn from them. The knowledge and resources they have might be different from yours, so you can learn one or two things which can be applied to suit your business. However, when collaborating with your competitor, be careful to clearly define what and why you are working together and what you aim to achieve from the partnership.
Successful entrepreneurs thrive under competitive pressures. Instead of viewing competition as an obstacle, start seeing it as an opportunity for your business to rise. There are other companies out there giving you a run for your money, therefore you have to be able to provide something extra and different for customers to stick with you.
Competition is a good thing for your business so put it to good use!