Have You Ever Thought About Not Competing With Your Competitors?


Have You Ever Thought About Not Competing With Your Competitors?

When we take our focus off our competitors and turn it towards positivity, our strengths and what is possible in our business, amazing things can happen.

In my early twenties, back when I still had a ‘job’, part of that job was getting the company I worked for ready to exhibit at its first tradeshow.

We’d been around for a while in the industry, but in terms of the exhibition circuit, we were the new kids on the block, and always looking to grow my skill set, I was excited! I threw myself into putting together the best exhibitor and customer experience that was capable of, and by the time we were ready to open, I was pretty impressed with myself. I couldn’t wait to greet the day.

The doors opened, and barely an hour had gone by before I noticed a small group of people had passed slowly by our stand more than once. They’d stop, look, point. A few whispers would pass between them and then hurry away. A few hours later, the same thing. Same people, same pointing and whispers amongst themselves. 

Positive or Negative – Where Does Your Energy Go?

In my fairly inexperienced head, they were potential new customers checking us out. So when they walked past for a third time, I was ready and jumped out to greet them. I was met with sneers and laughter. This time I was closer and could see they were all dressed in the same uniform, that uniform was for a business who we considered to be a ‘competitor’. The owner was among them.

So, this business owner, instead of focusing on exhibiting his business, and equipping the stand with all available resources to attend to potential new clients, had chosen to go to war. He was preparing for battle. Scoping out the new competitor and employing intimidation tactics, all while leaving their post unmanned. 

Some people might look hear this story and think great! We had a product that other players in the market are worried about. That must mean we were onto something. But to me, the whole experience felt to me like a giant waste of energy and resources for all of us. And I think it was then and there that I decided if I was going to compete with anyone, it was only going to be me. 

What Makes You, You.

Fast forward to me now having owned multiple businesses, and that one experience still shapes the way I interact with my competitors and customers every single day. Most notably, that I choose to drive my energy into focusing on my business, my strengths and finding my ideal client, rather than worrying about being better than someone else.

I am always looking for ways that I can be better than I was the day before.

But that doesn’t mean I’m naïve either. I know what and who is out there in my industry, and I have gone out of my way to become ‘business friends’ with the majority of my competitors. Because although we do cross over, we all offer something unique as well. No one can do what I do, and that is what makes me, me. It also means I can offer my customers a broader range of services through my competitors when they offer something that I don’t.

When it comes to your competitors, I say stop competing. Do away with the negativity and the invisible war. Instead, think positive. Focus on you, what makes your business great and how you can make it even better. I can tell you, your mindset and your business will thank you! 

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