Why You Should Absolutely Be Thankful for Your Competition!

Paul Riddle
Contributing Writer
Success Group International

Have you ever wondered how life would be without any visible competitors?  It certainly seems unlikely and odd, but surely at one point or another, you must have envisioned a place where your competition has been defeated, and you’re left standing high at the throne.  Maybe that dream drives you?  Here’s something that you may find surprising: Life without competition may not be a good thing!

Your competition is actually of great use to you!  They are one of the key motivators you have to continue to develop cost-effective solutions to business problems. By defining your competition, you are able to reveal your own competitive advantage and image in the industry.

For instance, if there are three contracting companies providing similar services in one area, your company could go a step further and provide a money-back guarantee or 24-hour service.  This would provide your company with an edge on the competition.  In most cases, you can even learn from the competition by following in their footsteps or avoiding their past mistakes.

Start-up companies can always take advantage of a dominant company’s first-mover momentum.  Customers might first want to entrust their problems with a larger company.  However, once they are comfortable with the field, they are more than willing to shop around for better prices and services, providing you with the opportunity to outshine the competition.

Starbucks is perfect example of how smaller businesses can benefit from their competition, consider the price and quality of a Starbucks cup of coffee.  Prior to Starbucks’ market entry, small family owned coffee shops would have never dreamed of charging more than $3.50 for a single cup of coffee.  Starbucks has created a market where charging $3.50 for a cup of coffee is not a crime.  In return, allowing for those small businesses across the street make a larger profit.

Without competitors, no answers would be found because no questions would be asked.  They keep you alert and focused on your goal.  This month, make focusing on how you can make better use of your competition one of your tasks.  Ask yourself the following questions:

• How did your competitors come to exist?

• What strategies are currently being used and how are they being executed?

• What are your competitors doing for their customers i.e. special discounted rates; bonus offers that you are not?

Once you have reviewed your area competitors, define your company’s competitive edge.  What will you do to stand out from your competition and how will you create the company image you want? Perhaps it is through marketing initiatives, focusing on specific consumer needs, offering discounted rates, providing money back guarantees.  It is all up to you!

About the Author: Paul Riddle, Vice President, Success Group International

Paul Riddle has over 25 years of handson experience as GM, COO, CEO, and owner of service companies specifically in the mechanical and restoration segments. Throughout his career, he has personally trained the owners and employees of hundreds of businesses, including several turnaround situations.  His handson training for owners and their employees has been in the areas of business planning, sales & marketing, and company culture. Paul enjoys applying his knowledge and experience working directly with business owners and their employees to increase profits, improve the company’s present value, and unlock the intrinsic value of the business when sold. Paul joined SGI in 2009 as the VP of Operations.

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