Remember that Beach Boys Song, “Wouldn’t it be nice…”. Well wouldn’t it be nice if there were only Brides who bought our biggest package? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could schedule every wedding when we wanted it (preferably 9-5 Monday through Friday because we like our weekends off too)? Wouldn’t it be nice if there wasn’t any competition?
Well, when I am the king of the world, I will waive my scepter and make it so, but until then, these are all things that we have to deal with in life. Let’s talk about the last one, because there is actually something we can do about it. Competition in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, that is what I want to spend some time chatting with you about.
I understand competitive issues. I moved into a market years ago as green as they come (I know it now, I just didn’t know it then). I was starting a Wedding magazine and hadn’t even done a competitive analysis (something every business plan calls for). I knew of only one competitor, and they were the weakest, so my idea of the market was far different than the reality. I went into that market with the idea that I had to “crush” the competition. I had to destroy them, wipe them from the face of the planet. What a moron I was!
The fact was, not knowing about the competition was a good thing for me and what I found out was that when I started worrying about the competition, it stole my focus. My focus become them rather than me. They were different enough from me that we both served a purpose in the market and we could each have our fair share of business and do well. Through the coming years, I worried more and more about them to the point to where I was more concerned about what they were doing rather than what I should have been doing.
Each of us has our strengths in our businesses. This can be described as a Unique Selling Point, but I like to simply call it a strength. When we concentrate on our strengths, we attract the customers who value those strengths.
Here is something to think about competition:
1. We will always have competition. Even if some of our arch nemesis goes out of business, they will be replaced.
2. If we had no competition, we could not handle the business that was out there or there would be no business as there is no need.
3. Good competition lifts the industry. In my world, good competition typically allows for someone to have a positive experience and potentially want to have more positive experiences by buying from me.
4. If you had no competition, the government would come in and regulate you.
You can spend your time focusing on what your competitors do, or you can build your business. My recommendation is simple, find those who are good competition and help each other grow and lift the industry together. I have formed some great friendships with some of my competitors and let me tell you, this is much more fun than was my previous life as a publisher. I speak with them almost every week and look forward to being of help to them because I know that their nature is to return the favor.
There is bad competition out there. In every industry, you simply have people who do not get it. I have tried at times to reach out to them, but to no avail, so my strategy is to politely ignore them. Were they to steal my focus and my attention, it would only be because I let them. The law of Karma almost always deals with bad competition, so sit back and put out the good vibes that bring about a happier life in your business.
Your business is your business and nothing the competition does can hurt you. Competition can make you sharper, faster, smarter, stronger, but they cannot pull you down, no matter what they say about you, no matter what their price is or no matter what their level of quality is. It is no fun when you lose business to a competitor, but business that you never had shouldn’t be mentally tallied as “your” business anyhow.
Go out and make nice with the nice competition-help each other to grow. If you have someone who is totally intolerable, realize that they are using a strategy that doesn’t have long term success and will ultimately fall by the wayside.
Until then, Here’s to your Success!