Business is all about competition, but the question you need to ask yourself is:
Who is driving your business decisions?
Are you constantly looking to improve your business for your customers’ sake? Or are you just trying to keep up with your industry competitors?
Caught up in competition
You started your business because you had an amazing idea. One that solved a particular problem for your customer. Maybe one they didn’t even know they had.
Soon you’re going along and then BAM! Another company comes along claiming to solve the same problem, but in an even better way.
And before you know it, the race begins.
But it’s the wrong race
Striving to keep up with your competition isn’t the way to win the business innovation game. Why? Because you’re letting someone else dictate your behavior.
- Instead of focusing on your own ideas, you’re focused on what someone else is doing.
- You’re more tuned into your competitors than your customers.
- You’re looking back to see who is sneaking up on you rather than looking ahead to see where you can truly go.
How do you think about your competition? Do you worry about them constantly, wondering what they’re up to? Are you only focused on the possibility they might secure that next new solution, employee, feature, or patent before you can?
Of course you need to know who your competitors are and have some idea of what they are up to. But if you’re obsessing over those things, you’re handing control of your own business to them.
Getting back on track
You can choose your race. And your path.
You can charge forward toward success or you can spend your time, energy, and resources running from your competitors. One of these paths is based on vision. The other is based on fear.
If you have a strong company vision with a team you trust and you’ve empowered them to make great things happen, then you’re actively running toward something.
If your main focus is on how to one-up another business, you’re not focused on building a better company. You’re still running your business, but you’re not running toward something new and exciting. You’re merely running away from the competition. You’re running in fear.
Running from competitors can breed some pretty unhealthy business practices:
- Thinking about yourself or your competitor instead of your clients
- Focusing on their company strategies instead of coming up with your own
- Worrying about today instead of planning for the future
Racing against your competition will result in short term thinking and a reactionary business model. No longer will you be innovating. You will merely be responding to the innovations of others. And your customers will notice.
Companies that lead based on fear can easily find themselves in exactly the scenario they were trying so hard to avoid— being passed by their competitors.
Run your own race
You can’t control what your competition is doing, but you can control what you are doing. Your greatest competitive advantage doesn’t come from playing catch-up. It comes from believing in your vision and empowering your team to give your customers what they want.
Focus on the things that will carry you forward to success: your customers, your clients, and your employees. Funnel your thoughts, energies, and resources into what you’re offering your clients and the experience you’re giving them after they’ve chosen you.
This is what will make your business rise to the top.
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