Are You Distracting Yourself With The Competition? - Column #143
Over the course of my career as a coach and consultant, I’ve met with many business owners who’ve lost their way in the face of “competition” with other companies. This occurred because of their choice to take on a negative attitude toward these businesses and their owners, especially when that business was outperforming theirs or had come to town and “taken” market share they once held.
In some of these situations, I’ve even seen business owners become angry with former customers for exercising their power of choice as consumers and going with what they perceived as the better value provided by the competition. Having a negative mindset isn’t necessary or helpful and actually will lead to the loss of more customers, market share, team members and possibly even the business itself.
Focusing your valuable time, energy and attention on what another company might or might not be doing and being negative about its success will ultimately limit yours. This mindset also will decrease the amount of happiness you experience in operating your business and must be replaced with a more effective way of thinking.
All businesses in a given market sector compete for the patronage of a limited number of customers. Rather than becoming embittered by others doing business in the same sector, choose to become empowered. Control what you can — how you, your team and company operate on a daily basis — and let the rest go. The wise choice is to strive to become better than you were the day before — to consistently reach for excellence in your operations.
Keep your focus on your own business and study how it operates. Evaluate the effectiveness of your leadership, consider the performance of your managers and entire team, look at the quality of the products and services you offer and discover where you can improve. By taking this constructive approach, you’ll progress to the next level because your attention will be solidly focused on how you can stand out in the marketplace through becoming the very best company you can be.
You might find it helpful to work with a qualified business coach and consultant to help you discover where you can make improvements and to implement the necessary steps to become an exceptional company. The organizations I work with have found this to be a powerful approach. Greater clarity can be achieved through a third party who will work alongside you to explore your business from top to bottom with a neutral and objective point of view.
Once it’s been discovered where you can improve, it’s vital you and your team work together to implement the corrective solutions that have been agreed upon. If you want to lead the way in customer satisfaction and loyalty, stand out in your sector and grow, necessary changes must be made and followed through to completion. Here again, an effective third party can offer valuable resources in getting the job done and done well.
The business owners I’ve worked work with have found this self-focused and self-accountable approach to be not only effective, but also liberating. They’ve discovered the freedom, empowerment, success and happiness that can only be possible with undivided attention to their own operations and the task of creating great companies.
As you shift your focus back to your business, you’ll quickly notice how much more you’ll accomplish with the added resources you were previously leaking to your competition. And once you’ve implemented the changes that will take your company to new heights, you’ll enjoy the increased happiness and success that come with these improvements.
There are two common approaches to marketplace competition. You can become negatively focused on others in your sector and take yourself and your company away from the success you desire, or you can turn your attention toward your own company and your path to becoming even better. The second approach is a self-disciplined one that will position you to face the reality of how you can improve operations, make effective changes and enjoy the fruits of your powerful efforts.