What Your Business Can Learn from the Competition

There was a time when businesses looked at their competition with disdain because competition meant a smaller market share for your company. These days, however, business owners realize the potential and importance of competition in a market to create interest, opportunities, and to carry some of the burden of figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. If you want your business to thrive, you need competition. Being the only one who offers a particular product or service is not enough to drive success. In fact, the more competition you have, the more you are focused to differentiate yourself, which means you have to get really creative with the way you serve your customers. While it might be a pain in your neck to figure out your unique value proposition, but it will be worth it to shine bright in your industry. Competition is good for business, here’s why.

Competition Forces Growth

Of course, we’re talking about the growth of the industry in which you do business, but also personal and professional growth. When you are staring down the barrel at your competition, you need to come up with new and different ways to start, run and grow your business. Not only does your customer benefit from choice, but you have a chance to be the best choice. It also means that you get to stretch yourself as an entrepreneur and show up in ways that are meaningful for your audience and customers. You don’t even need to take customers from your competition: they serve their own unique segment of the market. You just need to be smart about how you serve your customers. Gone are the days where you win by stealing customers from the competition. Customers are smarter than ever and know a good deal when they see one.

Competition Provides Information

If you are just starting out, you might be hesitant to look at what the competition is doing because it will make you feel like you aren’t good enough to play in that area. Sure, that might happen, and if you are like most entrepreneurs, it will definitely happen. But brush off your imposter syndrome for what it is and look at what your competition isn’t offering. Business isn’t about taking what’s left of the pie, it’s about baking a bigger pie. If your competition isn’t servicing its customers in a particular way that you can, you’ve got a niche market to focus on. If you find that there is room for improvement or you see a collaboration opportunity, go for it. Competition doesn’t have to be a source for bad news: if you look closely, you’ll be able to derive all kinds of useful information from them. Pay attention to their market and engagement as well: is what they are doing working? Are they getting high levels of interaction online or have email lists so big they are bursting at the seams? Find out why. Learn from it. Implement it in your own business. Inside your company, employees can provide feedback on what’s working and what’s not working so that you can get everyone on board with new changes.

Competition Benefits Your Marketing

While you are a business owner, you are also a consumer. And being a consumer means that when you are made an offer, you likely go to the internet looking for another offer to compare and price match. Information is instantly available to us these days and consumers would be a fool to accept an offer at face value when a quick internet search can yield a better deal, better opportunity, or a better fit for them. We all work hard for our money and many people are paying attention to how that hard-earned money is being spent. That works well for businesses these days, contrary to popular belief. Not every consumer is looking for the best price: some want to pay a premium for quality. When your competition puts out an ad or offers a sale, your business can benefit from that because of consumer behaviors. Pay attention to the offers, see how you can sweeten the deals and how you can improve your customer reach and touch because of it. Plus, you’ve spent no money to gain the attention of those customers simply because you are in the same space as your competition. If you run a furniture store and are planning a sale for two week’s time, you can bet that your customers are going to price match at other furniture store locations. The same applies with services online: people shop around for the best option for them.

Whether you run a business for years or you are still stuck on the kind of business you might run, pay attention to the competition. Don’t let the information overwhelm you and scare you into submission. With the right approach to competition, your business can thrive. You need information to make decisions, so don’t try to guess at what the competition is doing. If you feel like there isn’t a comparable niche market competitor, find one that is close enough or related and use that information. Nobody is immune to competition. But a better way to look at that is nobody is a stand-alone provider these days either: information is rich and available. Make it count in your business.

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