Compete to Grow

A recent Forbes article by Chris Myers examined how deep down, entrepreneurs fear competition.  It’s true though.  We may not fear competition in the way we fear a loose spider in the kitchen, or passing a nasty car accident on the road with open mouths, but we fear feeling threatened by competition.  Myers went on to say that “building a business is a deeply personal endeavor, and the very thought of having someone else try to play in your sandbox can elicit feelings of anxiety and defensiveness.”

Right off the bat, having no competition sounds pretty wondrous; does it not?  Simply going to work everyday and being the best will get old.  Sure, perhaps no other company can touch what you do or what your business has to offer, but the question we all have to ask ourselves, is how can we grow?  How can we get better?  Just because we’ve acquired success doesn’t mean we get to exist at a standstill. 

Millennials are often reputed (and reprimanded, nonetheless) for being impatient when it comes to waiting on results, success, and climbing all of those metaphorical ladders.  Their Boomer counterparts look at competition and the challenge of it all, like a juicy entree.  Not only is competition healthy--it is absolutely necessary.  How is a group of individuals supposed to grow as a team, if they don’t experience struggles and confrontations from time to time? 

So how can we examine the competition aspect of the workplace?  First, we must figure out what actually constitutes “competition.”  Then, after divulging into what we consider to be competition, we must be able to explain why our solution and what we have to offer, is superior to anyone else in the business.  Does company A connect better with their clients than we do?  Why is that?  What do they have that we don’t, and how can we overcome it?    

Being aware of change is always a biggie when it comes to competition.  While a great deal of people have the tendencies to shy away from change, embracing it can have lasting influences on your business.  Rolling with the punches, as they say, keeps us fresh and on our toes. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to give the people what they want.  More businesses than we can imagine today are finding themselves fall under the “say yes” company tag-line.  Sure, they may be seemingly giving away free product, or handing out deals right and left.  But when the ultimate goal is to make your customer happy, and retain that customer, we must be flexible.  At the end of the day, reputable Rhonda will return to your company for more business (over, yes, your competition) simply because you gave her a fabulous experience, not to mention, a taste of good old fashioned human generosity.  

After all, when it comes to competition, “It’s not about being the best.  It’s about being better than you were yesterday.” -- anonymous

 

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