Don’t focus too much on competitors | Sunday Observer

Don’t focus too much on competitors

The business environment is getting tougher by the day but you still have to stay profitable. The competitors are there to eat off your plate – so it’s natural you look at them as enemies but this very same attitude can put you on the wrong path in terms of navigating the challenges they pose. The best way to hurt them is by bettering your strategies to beat them. There is only one effective way of doing this. Instead of focusing on your competitors’ flaws, concentrate instead on their wining strategies, successful campaigns, and how they eventually won. In order to get past the mindset that your competitors are stupid, take a moment and do this exercise.

List the five most successful things your three or four biggest competitors have done during the past 12 months. Don’t confine this to yourself, have your key managers do the same. This will help you take a step back and assess the situation without letting personal feelings get in the way. You can also access why they were smart ideas, and how you can replicate or improve on them.

Try to put yourself in your competitors’ shoes. What do they think of you? How do they think you’ll act in a given situation? If you can decipher their expectations of you, you can anticipate their next move. You can also learn about your own flaws since it’s just as likely that your competitors have been underestimating you the same way that you have been underestimating them. Self examination is often easier when you take the time to step away from the rut of your habitual thinking and view yourself from another perspective.

Don’t allow your competitor to be the leader

If you are making moves because of actions your competitors are taking, you are inevitably sailing in their wake. The competitor becomes the leader. You are now making your business decisions based on their business plan and vision, and not your own. You should never change course in reaction to the actions of a competitor. Instead, you will make all of your decisions based on your own plan. Craft a business that works for you and for your customers. It’s painful to lose business to a competitor and it has its own negative implications. The gut reaction is to think that you are doing something wrong. You will be tempted to change course, to play the game by your competitors’ rules. Well, don’t. You’d better have your own set of rules that you play by. If you deliver superior quality and service, you have no business trying to compete on price.

You can’t have every single customer

Here’s the thing. You can’t have every single customer. Even if you accomplished this, the government would step in and break up your monopoly. There are customers out there that you just won’t get. So stop coveting your competitor’s customers, even if they used to be your customers. You need to find your ideal ‘profitable customer segment’, and then own that segment. Losing customers by the boatload? Then, sure, you need to re-evaluate your business. But do it on your terms, not someone else’s.

Keeping up with the competition is a losing play from the outset. You have a completely different company; different customer value proposition, different strategy, and many other differences. So, if you try to model your business after the success you think you see, without regard to your unique business, you will be creating a monster. While you start to have some success, you will eventually go down in flames. Instead, focus internally. Make sure you have a solid company that can bring in sales, service those sales, and grow at a sustainable pace.

If you want to win in business, you need to cut your own path. Don’t create a copy-cat company. Be the leader and stand for what you are. Find your ideal customer segment and live and breathe it. You will win !

 

Comments