In this saturated world of American dreams, you are bound to face competition in your realm of work. Rather a competitor rises after your initial success, or you enter the entrepreneurial world as the newbie of your market sector. Facing competition can be a good thing for business. You may be thinking that it would be nice if you were the only one to operate your kind of business, with no worries of someone trying to bandwagon your success. However, that’s a monopoly and no one really likes having one of those (unless you are playing the board game of course).
Competition is what makes this world thrive and innovate. While it can be scary or intimidating to hear that someone new is coming in to do exactly what you are doing, it is probably one of the best things that can happen to your company. Here are some of the top reasons why having a little competition can be good for your business success.
Indirectly gives you more recognition
A few long-time business owners that I know have said that when a competitor rolls into their territory it indirectly gave them more recognition. This is because it gets people talking about their options, especially now that they have more than one. Sometimes you get new customers because they tried out your competitor, but weren’t impressed. This is a great way to find the silver lining in something like facing competition.
While their business may be the “shiny” new thing in town, it ultimately won’t be new for long and the novelty will wear off. Remember, this addition can help garner attention on those businesses that already do the same thing, and potentially lead to more business for you. Take advantage of it, and leave the door open to all customers who want to come through it.
You don’t take anything for granted
After being in business so long, it is easy to forget the little things that helped make your company successful. When a competitor moves into the area, you can’t forget those who helped make your company thrive in the first place: your customers and employees.
Be sure to honor those long-time customers and employees in any way possible. Give to a cause that is important to them, or donate to a local fundraiser that they hold. These little actions can go a long way, and really make an impression on those who have supported you and your business throughout the years.
Reminds you how important customer service is
When a restaurant which runs 24/7 in my hometown suffered from a fire that left it destroyed, a friendly competitor readjusted their hours to fit the customer base of those affected by this event. They took care of those customers, and focused on what was best for them during this transitional time; A great example of customer service and smart business.
As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “keep the competitors focused on us, while we stay focused on the customers.” That is a pivotal statement to make note of when it comes to facing a competitor. We naturally long to see what our competitors are doing, and that’s okay, but you can’t put all your energy into their initiatives. Take note of what they are up to, evolve it, or do something completely different. As Bezos said, keep your eye on the customer, and be sure to not lose focus on what’s most important to them, not your competition.
You are mindful of your words
The easy, and most human instinct, thing to do in a situation where a person brings up a competitor is to not share positives reviews on them. While it may too easy to say things like, “I heard they don’t do this…” or “they don’t provide that kind of service,” being negative will only hurt your business more in the long run.
Think about this, what do you really get out of saying something negative about someone else? You only end up feeling bad, and I am a firm believer in you reap what you sow. People will remember your actions and words, especially when it comes to your business. Your customers will walk away thinking, “Do they talk about everyone like this, including their patrons?”
The best thing you can do is to stay positive, as well as to keep your chin up when it comes to your competition. Being the bigger person always pays off in the end, especially when it comes to making a lasting impression on your customer base.
Makes you step outside your comfort zone
For years, businesses could get away with typical marketing tactics and word of mouth referrals. Now, in a world of social media platforms and Internet overload, competition shows up in all forms. While you may have pushed off the ideas of using something like Twitter or Instagram in the past, you may have to rethink your marketing strategies.
This is a fast-moving world, so you must step outside of your comfort zone and into the 21st century. The wonderful thing is that there are many people who specialize in social media content and marketing. You could learn this yourself or hire someone to assist you with this transition (a dream job for some Millennials). You just have to be willing to test new waters and get familiar with social media platforms to see which one is the right fit for your business. This effort will go a long way, and even bring in more customers who would not have been reached otherwise.
Competition is a good thing, even when it directly affects you. Competition keeps us grounded, fresh, and on top of our business game. The best thing you can do for your business is to focus on your customers, and on the best ways to reach and retain them. Hopefully, some of these guidelines will give you a different outlook on the benefits of facing a competitor. All you can do is stay true to your brand, and be the best business you can be to those who matter most…your customers and employees.