Beating Your Competition Is A Faulty Business Mindset
I remember the first time I heard a business leader talk about 'beating the competition'. It stirred my red personality up. The focus was to 'sift the market; leave them in the dust; keep them guessing'. I've played this game many times. Rising to the top winning $10,000 commission checks and more, at first glance it sounds like the way to be a great business owner. But when we look deeper, the premise is not only faulty, it's dangerous to the sustainability of your business.
Recently I was reading through my Facebook feed and I saw another business coach who made this same statement. She posted an article about a woman who was trying to get back at her ex-husband's new fiance. The article gave details of how this woman was going to 'beat her competition' and 'leave her gasping for air'. The business coach had one quote about the article: "This works in business, too."
Before I ever took my business past the $ 1 million dollar mark, I remember how much I'd focus on the 'competition'. What they were doing, how their tactics worked, figuring out how we could outsmart them, outpace them and win. It was exhausting, really. I no longer do that. Once we passed $3 million and more it became apparent how faulty this was. I no longer even let this enter my mind. Actually, I'm pretty clueless to what the competition in my niche is doing. Could care less. My focus is elsewhere. Occasionally I get emails about 'this leader said this and that leader is doing that and what do you say' and I honestly will usually hit delete. Occasionally I will answer, and show how every leader is entitled to their own practices, strategies and so on. I also point out that a LOT of people think that in order to brand themselves as a thought leader they have to take out their opponent and revolutionize the industry by doing guerilla warfare, sifting the camp and discrediting others. But I rarely go on a hunt to 'beat my competition'. It's quite an emotional chase, really.
The reason my debt free company continues to prosper and grow every single day, despite the fact that I work less than I ever have in my life, is because I no longer even care what the competition is doing. Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm aware of what they are doing; I stay up to date on current trends, offerings and what the customer is exposed to. But I never research this information so I can beat them. I'm no longer drawn into this emotional battle field. No, I know this information for two reasons: WHAT does the customer want. HOW can we serve them better.
There's only two ways you'll ever be extremely successful in business: out market or out serve your competitors. When your focus is more on the customers you serve, how you can add value to their lives and how you can solve an urgent problem in a very unique way, being in front of them everywhere they go (ie: good marketing) you're winning stripes will be created without any boxing gloves.
Typically the one who fights the competition and looks to discredit the 'other guy' is not focusing on the customer. Sure, they pay attention and make sure orders are completed, people are happy. But the deeper CORE belief of loving the customer, serving them well, building a sustainable brand and creating culture is forgotten.
This is where my focus is these days. How can I create a culture where our clients are well served, we do it in a unique way, we're trustworthy and dependable and we continue to profit every single year, with gains? That's my business model in a nutshell.
The next time you're sitting in a seminar and someone starts talking about how THIS leader is wrong and THAT leader is bogus and THAT business person isn't as smart as So and So Speaker and beating the competition? Just remember this: The one who focuses on the customer and marketing always wins. You #BEMORE in business!