Competitors. Every company’s got them, and without them, we would have no commerce.
But while you might dread thinking about what the competition is up to, it’s absolutely essential if you’re going to help your brand succeed.
Sometimes competitors get a little aggressive. Maybe they copy what you’re doing on your blog, social media, email, et cetera. Rather than getting upset about aggressive competition or even approaching another business about it, use these strategies to rise above it.
Change Your Mindset
While your first instinct might be to panic that more and more businesses are entering your space, realize: competition is proof that you’re doing something right. If you were the only business in your industry, you probably wouldn’t have much of a business concept. But if others are getting in on it, that means you’re on to something.
Share Like You Did in Kindergarten
Realize there is plenty of business to go around for everyone, even in a saturated market. While you want more and more of that market share, the fact is you couldn’t handle 100 percent of it. So be nice and share.
Even if there are 10,000 other brands offering similar products to yours, the truth is every single one of them is slightly different. You’ll thrive if you find your niche and focus on that. It’s not about offering a wide variety of products, but rather offering a few that you really excel at. Or catering to a small slice of a particular segment. For example, if you sell to business owners (big piece of the pie), maybe you can hone in on those who are solopreneurs and work from home (smaller slice). Then own that market and fight for it.
Accept Imitation as Flattery … but Keep Innovating
Let’s say a competitor starts following your every move. You write a blog post on sales, and they write a post on sales. You start being active on Google +, and they do the same. Rather than getting frustrated, realize that they’re only copying you because you’re kicking butt at what you’re doing. It’s not your fault that other company can’t come up with their own ideas.
Just don’t rest on your laurels, or they might surpass you. Keep on innovating so that you’re the model everyone wants to be.
Realize that Competitors Aren’t Always Competitors
This can be a valuable and humbling lesson. If you always treat others in your industry as competition, you can miss out on great partnership opportunities. Think of the freelance writer who feels like she’s battling against another writer in her space. Once she changes her thought patterns, she finds that the other writer is willing to hire her to help with overflow work she doesn’t have time to take on.
By looking at others in your industry as potential partners, you open yourself up to even more business.
In business, you have to be authentically fierce and bold. Pay attention to what others are doing, and find your own path. And if they mimic you, take it as a compliment and keep moving forward.
Hurdles Race Photo via Shutterstock
The key is to let them win and show them that you want them to win. Who knows? You may even win a partnership. That is how I have dealt with competition based on experience.