Three simple reminders to stop business comparisons

Every now and again in business we can find ourselves obsessing over achievements. But not our achievements, someone else’s – and their success always seems to be greater than ours.

I’m sure you’ve experienced it too, where you wonder why you didn’t have that idea, position your business as cleverly, or win that account, employee, award or media coverage. You look at their success and wonder why you too don’t have the same results or growth. 

If we’re not careful, these business comparisons can consume us with doubt, blind us from our wins, wreak havoc in business relationships, and even cause us to sabotage our success. 

To guard against this, here are three simple reminders that will stop business comparisons and help you to focus on growing your business. 

1. Someone else’s success doesn’t spell your failure

It can be so easy to get discouraged and doubt ourselves when someone else achieves success. But their success doesn’t mean you have failed. In fact, if you are wise you will use their win as an opportunity to learn. 

Analyse the situation and ask yourself, “What can I learn from their journey that can fast track my success and make my life easier? What worked or didn’t work for them? What methods or strategies did they use? How could I do it more effectively or efficiently? What mistakes can I now avoid?” 

You can save yourself significant time and money if you can learn from the lessons and mistakes of others who have gone before you.

2. You’ve had wins too!

Put the focus back on you for a moment and look back on your achievements. The happy clients, big sales months and glowing testimonials you’ve had. The accounts, awards, media coverage and speaking engagements you’ve won, and the results, outcomes and goals you’ve achieved. 

Allow yourself to celebrate your achievements because chances are there is someone looking at what you’ve accomplished with admiration. 

3. You add serious value

Your experience, expertise and skills are individual to you. No one will bring the same approach, opinions and knowledge that you will and because of that you provide immense value. 

While you may not have the have the fastest growing company, the best contacts or the greatest knowledge, your approach, interpretation or implementation may be exactly what someone needs. 

So the next time you find yourself comparing your business, offer yourself these reminders because the truth is the only limitations to your success are the limitations you have placed on yourself. 


Competitor Wars: How to Deal with Dirty Tricks

Being an entrepreneur is serious business. While some seem to thrive under the pressure of growth and competition, others harden, taking their focus off their own businesses to think up ways to sabotage their competitors. 

Hiding under the cloak of anonymity their dirty tricks are many. They plagiarise your blogs, website content, promotions, newsletter, social media updates, products, services or innovations and claim it as their own.

Some open fake social media accounts to harass you through posts or subtly (and not so subtly) promote their own business on your page. Others leave scathing online reviews for products and services they haven’t even purchased, or pose as a complimenting customer to glean suppliers and trade secrets. Doing it all in an attempt to surpass you, distract you and break you. 

While it can be distressing, annoying and downright unethical, the truth is you can’t control how your competitors will react. You can however, control how you respond. So before you go out and declare a full-scale competitor war, here are five tips to help you deal with their dirty tricks. 

1. Feel satisfied that you are doing something right

Know that to cause such a stir and have your competitors scared you must be doing something right.

People don’t copy or get concerned about competitors with bad businesses or ideas. They get concerned about competitors with great ones. You are doing your job too well in their eyes and they don’t like it. See their jealousy as a compliment. 

In fact the only time you really need to worry, is when they stop looking to you for their ideas. 

2. Mind your own business

While it’s necessary to keep a check on what a competitor is doing, the minute they consume your thoughts and energy or alter your actions they’ve won. Stay focused on your business. Keep disrupting, keep innovating, and keep making your competitors uncomfortable. 

3. Build your fans 

I’m not talking about more social media followers here; I’m talking about actual raving fans. You want to create customers that love what you do so much they become your extended sales team and in this case your supporters and defenders. 

Customers who have a strong relationship and emotional connection with you will start to notice (as will others) that your competitors are copying you or playing dirty tricks. What’s more they won’t be reserved with their opinion.  

4. Respond with kindness

Use negative reviews as a way to showcase your character and customer service. There are countless examples on social media of how a complaint turned into a massive PR opportunity for a business.

Respond with kindness, show your customers why they love you and how positively you act under pressure. You will often build more rapport with your customers, fans and followers when they see you handle a negative situation positively and authentically. It will give them even more of a reason to believe in you.

5. Let them be their own undoing

People who act in desperation or greed always slip up eventually, and those who copy you will always be one step behind. So as tempting as it can be to lower yourself to their level and play their dirty games, don’t. 

It catches up with them. It may not be in your time (or how you have plotted it in your head), but it does. The business world is too small for it not to. 

So seek legal and business council if and when you need to, though make sure your main focus is on building your business and serving your customers. 

Succeeding will always be the best revenge.


How to become a market leader (not a competitor follower)

In business it can be easy to get distracted by what your competitors are doing. When they bring out new products or services, branch out into new markets or change their course of action you can be tempted to do the same. 

But when you change the way you do business or take an alternate course of action because of what your competitors are doing, they become the leader and you become the follower and you’ll always be one step behind. 

So to prevent you from taking actions you may not have taken if it wasn’t for feeling threatened, here are three tips to ensure you remain a leader in your own business not a follower of someone else’s. 

1. Stay focused on your customers, not your competitors

The best and quickest way to grow your business and expand your market share is to stay focused on your customer not your competitors.

The more you can get inside your customers head, the more relevant and targeted you can make your products, services and marketing. Give your customers what they want and they will not only keep coming back, they will also refer more people to you.

So be a leader, find opportunities to be different, stay focused on what your customer wants and continually value-add and innovate to give it to them. Do this and you won’t have to worry about your competitors. They on the other hand will have a lot to worry about with you!

2. Anticipate needs and trends

A true market leader will not just meet current customer needs and wants, they’ll also anticipate future needs, wants and trends. 

Look for patterns that are forming, frustrations that are growing, trends and technology that are going to impact how you provide and deliver your products and services or how you customer will use them, and watch for what no one else is doing. Most importantly listen to what your customers are saying – and not saying. 

If you are taking these market-leading actions yourself, you’ll have no reason to follow what your competitors are doing, you’ll already be on it. 

3. Play on your strengths

Each business has it’s own strengths. It could be your knowledge, specialist staff, results, your high quality products and services, your level of customer service and follow up, your creativity and ideas, your industry experience, your client base, your large budget, your size and infrastructure, your available resources, your website and quality of content, your entrepreneurial thinking, or your agility. 

Whatever your strengths are, use them to your best advantage. Too often we focus on other peoples strengths and our weaknesses. But for a competitive advantage in business you need to be focused on your competitors’ weaknesses and developing your strengths. 

How do you ensure you are leading not following?


How to avoid being overwhelmed by your competitors

Researching your competitors can be a great way to keep up to date with industry developments, identify new market opportunities and find out what is and isn’t working for others.

But occasionally competitive analysis can turn into competitive paralysis, where you become so focused on what your competitors are doing that you lose sight of what you are trying to achieve or worse lose all motivation.

To prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and distracted by your competitors, here are five tips to keep your competition in the proper perspective.

1. Be a leader not a follower

When you change the way you do business or take an alternate course of action because of what your competitors are doing, they become the leader and you become the follower.

You are making business decisions based on someone else’s plans and goals instead of your own. Your business becomes dependent on what your competitors are doing, putting you always one step behind.

As a business owner you shouldn’t change your actions or decisions in reaction to any competitor. Certainly innovate when needed, though focus on building a business that works for you and value-adds to your customers.

2. Remember you won’t get every customer

It’s important to realise that you won’t get every customer, there will always be those that go elsewhere. So don’t covet your competitor’s customers, even if some of them once belonged to you. Instead focus on your own ideal target market and look to dominate there.

3. Be different

If you want to get ahead in business the key is to be different. You can certainly learn from other people’s successes and failures though don’t spend all of your time looking in the rear view or side mirrors watching what everyone else is doing, focus ahead on your goals and the best direction to go.

Develop your point of difference, what you can offer your clients and prospects that no one else can (or at least not as well). Perhaps it is in your processes, the quality of your products or services, your experience and expertise or the follow up services you provide. Focus on your differences and what your current clients say they love about you.

4. Look at their weaknesses not strengths

When you do look at what your competitors are doing, look for their weaknesses and the growth opportunities you have out of those, instead of focusing on their strengths and how you can replicate them. Find where they fall down or are vulnerable and turn those areas into your strengths.  

5. Stay focused on your customer, not your competition

If you want to grow your business and expand your market share, the best and quickest way to do it is to stay focused on your customer not your competitors.

What do your customers want and need? What are their problems and challenges? What results do they want from your product or service? The more you can get inside your customers mind the more relevant and targeted you can make your products, services and marketing. Give your customers what they want and they will not only keep coming back they will also refer their family, friends and colleagues.

So be a leader, find opportunities to be different, stay focused on what your customer wants and continually value-add and innovate to give it to them. Do this and you won’t have to worry about your competitors. They on the other hand will have a lot to worry about with you.


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