No matter what your industry, you will have competition in some form or another. It may be direct or it may be a subtle, passive competitor. Whatever the case, it’s important to understand one rule.. business is not all about beating the other guy. If you’re in sales or any highly competitive industry, you may take that the wrong way and dismiss the value of this article altogether, but bear with it until the end, you may find substance after all.
Credibility over Competition
One of the problems with a highly competitive attitude is the sacrifices that are made to win. To be really competitive against your rivals you have to outdo, outbid, or outlast in some way,
and this mentality may hurt your credibility in the long run. To better understand this, let’s take a look at a testimonial from a freelancer in the web industry:
There has been a huge boom in web design and development in the last decade. This demand has created thousand upon thousands of new web design agencies. When I first started my business, I was hungry and determined to outdo the other guys. I started focusing on price to make me competitive and preferable to the market. What I found out was that not only was I still being outbid (mainly by oversea companies), but I was also losing money on the bids I did land, causing me to feel forced into cutting corners to make the project profitable. This went against my core work ethic and moral fiber and I quickly changed, refocusing on quality and service instead of cost or time. This has led me to much greater success as my clients truly valued my work and began to make referrals passing my name from business to businesses.
Can you handle it?
Many of us entrepreneurs and business owners know what it’s like to work a 16 hour day. I’m sure many even do that on a regular basis.. but at what cost? If you’re married, perhaps you’ve noticed that your long hours at work are taking their toll on your marriage causing fights and causing the words “work-a-holic” to ring in your ears. Maybe your friends are complaining that you haven’t gone out for a beer in over a month, or haven’t returned their phone calls. Fill in the blank for your situation. You know if this is an issue in your life or not. Sometimes outdoing the other guys means doing yourself in. Do you want to be someone that’s always climbing the never-ending stack of work?
Why Compete when you can Co-exist?
If your competition isn’t directly hurting you, why compete at all. Take a hint from all the web related industries in the world.. most of which are publicly sharing their knowledge on the web and are in fact even sharing the profits! What kind of a business model is that?! Well confusing as it may be, we are in a generation of FREE where businesses really do give away free stuff, and entrepreneurs grow and share in the wealth together.
Putting it all together
All this is, is a reality check. Wake up. You’re in the 21st Century and new ideas and business models are springing up all around you. Maybe competition isn’t an option for you, and maybe this is of no value. But if you take away one concept, let it be this.. you’re probably not the first and you’re definitely not the last. What’s more important to you to accomplish with your business.. a selfish and reproachful attitude that benefits nobody but you, or a lasting effect and name that others remember and share?