Beat, Don’t Meet, The Competition
July 21, 2022
How does a business get ahead of the competition, or is it an easier path simply to meet the competition? Does meeting the competition with similar operations, marketing campaigns, and pricing produce a higher net profit than trying to disrupt the market with dissimilar operations, marketing, and pricing?
With the current economy, every business seems to be in a competitive market as more businesses enter the marketplace and competition gets even stronger. The survival of small businesses and SMEs will go to those who beat the competition by being better and different...better with products and services offered and different through innovation and uniqueness.
Proactive vs. Reactive
A business can change its operations and offerings in two different ways. It can be proactive through its own innovation or reactive by allowing the competition to force a change in order for the business to remain somewhat competitive. Proactive is being the leader of the pack keeping the competition in the rearview mirror while always looking ahead. A business that is reactive is always trying to play catchup being a follower rather than a leader.
There is a multitude of information available on the Internet on almost every industry. Although you can drown in the information available, analysis and foresight can be a key to ignite innovation in a business. There is even information available on a business’s competition...studying their website and online reviews is like reading a playbook of the competition. Information can be gleamed on pricing, marketing, and even why customers are satisfied or not so satisfied. Since a business goal is to produce and sell products and services that are different and better, staying informed is an opportunity to beat the competition.
Competition: Foe or Friend
If you asked most business owners or managers how they view their competition, they would probably say they are more of a foe than a friend since the competition is considered to be a rival or opponent in trying to obtain customers. Rather than taking this attitude, business owners or managers might consider the competition as a friend...a friend who energizes them to improve and innovate. In other words, the competition is always pushing a rival to create a better business model and provide more value to a customer’s purchase. So, businesses cannot only learn from the competition but also use the competition to figure out how to create a more favorable purchasing experience for each customer.
Pivot into the Future
Change is inevitable in every business and change is good for every business. Without change, businesses become stagnant. While completely “reinventing the wheel” would be extremely difficult for any business, pivoting with diversification opens the door for additional business. The global pandemic is a perfect example of how so many businesses had to pivot their operations in order to survive. Pivoting is a way to stay ahead of the competition and continue to be a leader rather than a follower. This creates long-term sustainable growth.
Staying ahead of the competition, a business must ignore complacency. Even if a business is considered the best in its field, it must continue to strive to be even better and more unique. The competition will always be at the leader’s heels just waiting for that one opportunity to get ahead and become the new leader. There is no rest for a small business or SME. They must never lose sight of that one important goal...beat, don’t meet, the competition.