“What does it matter who I’m competing against?”
Well, it does matter. Think of a game of chess. How can you win over your enemy if you don’t know or understand what they’re moves are?
If you just blindly put your pieces out there without giving a care about them, do you think you’ll be able to checkmate the enemy’s king?
Chess has books teaching about different strategies, moves and ways to hold an advantage. That’s the level some players try to analyse each other.
The industry is basically a giant chessboard for the different companies in it. So you need to be analysing the other players.
Why Competition Is Important
If there’s no competition in the industry, will you be able to say that it’s thriving?
Even before coming into the business world, competition helps you decide whether the niche that you are planning to get into is actually working.
It’s important that you get as much information as you can from the people that are already in there.
Also, understanding your competition gives you an idea on what to anticipate and to help you create a business strategy for yourself.
Learn From Them
Learn from your competitions’ failures and wins.
When learning from your competition, it doesn’t mean that you have to stalk them on Facebook or any other social media. You just need to look at what they’re products or services are, how they market them, how they keep their customers loyal, the skills of the people in their team, who the owner is, what type of prospects do they target, etc. Anything about their business that you think in a way would help you improve yours.
Find out what works for them and what doesn’t. You can form your own strategy based on what works or if you find out what went wrong on the things that didn’t work for them. However, this does not mean that you should copy from them directly. That’s a different story.
Differentiate From Them
When we study somebody too much, we unconsciously try to copy that person.
This is something that you have to be vigilant about. Knowing more about your competition and learning from them is different than just blatantly copying them.
Your business should still strive to find what makes you different from the rest. Otherwise, you’ll just be another face in the crowd… easily forgotten.
Find your business vision and mission.
What drives your company? This should be something other than the personal financial gains. Do you have a story of why you got into the industry? How or why you want to help it?
Develop some core values. What do you stand for? What does your business believe in?
Keep on Improving
A product or service you used to provide eons ago wouldn’t necessarily still work and produce the same income today.
Change your ways when they stop working, even if the competition is still doing it the old way. Read up on what’s new and working.
Keep improving yourself and your business. It’s important to know and understand the competition. If they seem to be doing better than you, then it’s a wakeup call that there’s something you are missing or doing wrong in your business.
However, you need to keep in mind that your competitors are not the standard for success. Otherwise, if competition is what keeps you running, what would you do if you surpass them?
Your vision, mission, your core values… that’s what should drive you and your business. These things can only be satisfied if you keep doing better and better.
Remember, you need to analyse the other players on the board, but in the end, you should bring some of your own strategies and values to the table as well.