If you think having competition is like a thorn in your side maybe you’re not using it as “competitive advantage”. When there are plenty of jobs and business to go around we tend to get complacent and fail to do the things we need to do to be competitive ourselves. We tend to take customers and employers for granted. Customer service drops off and innovation goes by the wayside.
In today’s fast paced global economy you have to tread water faster and better just to keep up. It’s a lot more work than it used to be. But businesses, job seekers and individuals that work harder, try harder, act smarter, reinvent, and evolve will always land on their feet.
Here are 3 reasons competition is good for your business:
- It Makes Your Customer Service Better – When you’re on the treadmill of a business boom there simply isn’t enough time in a day to stop and really evaluate every single customer. Things are moving fast and customers are lined up to buy your product or service. There are several yogurt stores in my neighborhood, but only one has lines around the block. It was the original, and somehow they were able to attract and retain those customers who have become so loyal they will wait in a long line rather than walk across the street for the same yogurt where there’s no line. Great customer service goes a long way and it’s free. Make customers fall in love with you and treat them right. Then when competition comes along they won’t even think of going anywhere else.
- Fosters Innovation – When your business is number one or the only one, innovation tends to be ignored. In a recent study CEOs overwhelmingly said that innovation is their number one concern, yet most never do anything to encourage it in their companies. Corporations like Google are number one for a reason. Innovation is incredibly important to them. It’s woven into the fabric of what they do. And it should be important to your company. No matter what the economy is like or who your competition is, if you constantly innovate you will come out on top.
- Identifies Your Strengths and Weaknesses – You may not always know what your strengths and weaknesses are until your competition points it out. Maybe you need to narrow your focus a little and concentrate on what you’re really good at that your competition isn’t. Instead of trying to be all things to all people you can put all of your energy into doing the one thing that your competition isn’t focusing on. Starbucks and coffee shops both sell coffee. But Starbucks decided to do one thing better and focused all of their attention on just coffee. People still drink coffee at coffee shops, but when they just want coffee they go to Starbucks.
Competition is not only good for your business, it’s good for consumers, who get to pick and choose who gets their money, time and attention. It keeps you on your toes and keeps you innovating and that’s good for society in general. And if you’re really smart you’ll learn how to leverage that innovation and work with your competition instead of against them.