How to Deal with Your Competitors

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Scenario: "Our competitors are losers. We gotta kick their booties and grab big freakin' market share. Yay!" What do great companies do?

  • a) Look for ways to destroy, annihilate, and crush competitors.
  • b) See how competitors can help them.

If you answered (b), good job: You're a correct badass. Conventional wisdom drives most entrepreneurs to scan for competitors, and see who they can annihilate. Great businesses instead trash that wisdom. They see themselves as their greatest competitors -- so, they scan the playing field, and see what they can learn from their competitors to better themselves.

Who should be your biggest competitor?

You think Google, Starbucks, Berkshire, Coca-Cola, and IKEA -- and you tell your bad self: "What do these amazingly awesome companies have in common?" Their biggest competitors: their-freakin'-selves. When was the last time you heard them disparaging their competitors, or directly gunning for them? Yes, focusing on competitors is important; but, competitors should primarily serve as sources for ideas to rock your company like a badass that it should be.

How Not to Deal With Outside Competitors

Most entrepreneurs go through the vision-tunnel syndrome when dealing with competitors. That is, their biases lead them into thinking their competitors suck at everything -- and they themselves totally, absolutely rock at everything. So, they ignore the vicious facts of reality; for instance ignoring competitors':

  • Highly profitable practices.
  • Emotionally-driven marketing initiatives.
  • Customer acquisition processes.
  • Product cycles.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

Hey, because if "they suck at everything, why would we need to learn anything from them?" they tell themselves. So, instead of using sweet real-world practices, they resort to doing their "theoretical" crapola that they're sure will "beat competitors!" Blah. If you want to improve your company everyday, your competitors have a tremendous source of ideas for you to do so.

Learn Why Your Outside Competitors Rock

If you're gunning for competitors, chances are: They're better at you in something. That could mean they have ridiculously better marketing than you. They have higher profit margins. Or, their customers irresistibly love them. So, instead of brushing them off with "They suck! We can do it totally better!" tactics -- learn how they rock. You'll improve your business that much more. The template to get you started:

"My competitors are freakishly resourceful allies."

 

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Posted on December 14

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