I’ve come across many different reactions to competition: some sulk, some cry, some
scream, some punch the wall (seen that happen twice), some calmly sit down, some make tea,
and some ….smile.
Now, you’re probably thinking, only the mad ones smile when they hear of the competition.
But you would be wrong. They are a very special breed of people, who:
- Relish the challenge of learning about the new competition
- Have 100% faith in their services/products/ability
- Look forward to meeting the competition and listening to their take on the business
- Understand that the competition keeps you on your toes
Here are the five steps to loving the competition:
Step one – Panic stage
When you first find out, try not to panic. Deeps breaths and tea are good around now.
Step two – Thinking stage (or maybe brooding)
Think about the situation. They are in the same field because it’s profitable. That’s good news for you. They have done their research and appreciate that there is business to be had. That also means, there’s more business for you.
Step three – Make yourself feel better
There’s plenty of business to go round. You have a vast selection of happy clients who have faith in your ability to deliver. They could jump to another service provider or supplier at any time, but they haven’t because you are already taking care of their needs.
Step four – Strategy stage
Now you’re thinking clearly, devise a strategy to assess the competition.
- Analyse the marketplace, trends, consumer demand
- Do a SWOT analysis
Check out their web presence:
- Do they publish prices – how do they compare to your prices? Can you improve yours? What services/products are they offering – how do they differ from yours?
- Are there opportunities for your business among them? What skills do they have? Are they the same or different from yours. Or are there some skills you should look to invest in? Do they offer a service that you could sell to your own clients?
- Where are they located? Are they local or international? Would they be providing a service nearby or on the other side of the country?
- How do they promote their business, products and ideas? Does something amazing catch your eye that could try? Does their idea prompt a new one for you?
- What business strategy are they using? Does it work better/worse than yours? Should you research alternative strategies?
Step five – Meet, make friends and learn
It’s now or never! Give them a call or contact them online. Find out about them and arrange to meet. You may already have friends or networking buddies in common.
When you do interact, be curious, professional and friendly. You could end up partners, or joining forces for projects, or recommending each other, or even trading business ideas.
How do you react to competition? Are any of your closest friends, competitors? Has a competition become a partner, friend or referrer?Any stories?