Competition is for losers! Great business owners and entrepreneurs are not always caught up in the fight against competition instead they embrace it and use it as a tool to win and build a great business of their own.
Too often I hear business owners complain about competition and how they are losing customers because of existing competition in the market. Competition has this bad name connected with playing dirty tricks and mind games just to get ahead and have more sales. While that can be true in certain situations, more often competition is much needed and necessary for business.
Think about it, if there was no competition in the smartphone business, how much would a smartphone cost right now? Competition is what pushes us forward, makes us create a better product for a lower price and even if you are dealing with a small business, there are still ways you can deal with your small business competitors without selling your soul.
Why do you need competition in business.
Don’t kill the competition. Competition is healthy for businesses. It keeps you the entrepreneur on your toes. – Aliko Dangote.
There’s no doubt that starting a competitive business can deter a business’s ability to achieve their set goals, especially when it comes to lead generation and sales. But, the truth is, having competition is actually a good thing and is healthy for business.
Briefly, let’s examine few reasons why your business needs competition.
1. Competition opens your eyes to improvement.
You might not know the next step in improving your services until you see a competitor do it, or until they do something that inspires a unique idea for your business. Competitors are useful for improvements, introducing new ideas and perspectives within your industry, to help you improve your brand and better serve your customers. You are able to learn from other competitors what works and what doesn’t.
2. Competition helps grow your business and the market.
Strong competition can actually help your business because they keep you on your toes. They also provide valuable market insight and force you to keep your product strategies fresh. Most times competitors will actually help customers to more quickly assimilate information about your business in their head. It is more important for businesses to have competitors because they boost your familiarity factor.
Also Read: How to find a good mentor for your business.
3. Competition reminds you to focus on your key customers.
Competition reminds you every now and then to focus on your key customers. After all, they are the reason why there is more cash inflow. By focusing on them you also come up with ways to serve them better. Indeed when you have various customers you have a huge task to always serve. Competition makes it very mandatory to keep serving and seeking new ways to serve your customers.
Ways to emerge ahead of the competition.
All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition. – Peter Thiel.
Succeeding in today’s ever-changing business world demands that you stay ahead of your competition. If you’re running a business, you probably already understand this. But how do you pull it off?
Here are five ways to emerge ahead of your competitors in business.
1. Don’t ever ignore the competition around you.
No matter how smart you think you are, there is always someone that knows a bit more – keep your eyes and ears open, especially if someone has been in the business longer than you. Don’t ever ignore the competition around you instead do the opposite – think about the competition, study your competitors and see what are they doing, what are they are about to do and what are they not doing. Sometimes, it is okay to copy their actions if you are sure it’s not a trademark of your competitor to avoid future legal issues.
2. Know your competitive advantage and leverage it.
Your competitive advantage is that condition or circumstance that puts your business in a favorable or superior business position among others. In business, you need to know what that one advantage is for your business to succeed. This can either be based on your teams’ experience or expertise, business and professional network or the amount of cash you have in the bank if you happen to have raised more money than your competitors. Whatever the advantage is, you can leverage it as a tool to stay ahead of the competition.
3. Deliver extraordinary service to customers.
It’s essential to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a rival. Your product or services unique selling point (USP) should tap into what customers want in a clear and precise manner. When it comes to customer services, be polite, build relationships with your customers and respond to complaints quickly and calmly? It’s that simple. But it’s something big companies find impossible to do well. With one more smile than the big ones, you can start beating your competitors.
4. Build a lasting relationship with customers.
Have you ever thought of rewarding your loyal customers? If you want to win customers over, a great way to do that is to alleviate their pain with your product or services and build a great relationship that rewards customers based on their loyalty to your business. Don’t be carried away by the need to sell to your customers rather be more fascinated by the desire to help them solve the problems they have. Constantly review why you started this project or your company. Focus on the value it will bring to your customers.
5. Expand your offer and constantly look into the future.
What related products or services might your customers be interested in? You might even consider diversifying into another areas or line of business that your customers will be interested in. Always follow customer trends, invest in new technology and have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three and five years’ time.
The more competition we have, the more creative we can get. If you’re facing too much competition today, start seeing it as a good thing, and approach the market with new ideas and concepts that will leave your competition’s jaws hanging!