Focused On The Competition Or Your Own Business? - Column #174
There are two ways to look at marketplace competition. You could focus on others in your sector and take you and your company away from the success you desire. Or, you could turn your attention toward your own company and your path to becoming better.
The second is a self-disciplined approach that will position you to face the reality of how you can improve your operations, make effective changes and ultimately enjoy the fruits of your powerful efforts.
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 what they perceive as “competition” with other companies. This occurred because of their negative attitudes toward these companies and their owners, especially when the companies had come to town and “taken” market share they once dominated.
I’ve even seen business owners become angry with former customers for exercising their power of choice and going with what they deemed the better value provided by the competition. A negative mindset isn’t helpful and will lead to the loss of more customers, market share, team members and possibly even the business itself.
Focusing your valuable time and energy on what other companies might or might not be doing and resenting their success will ultimately limit yours. This mindset also decreases the happiness you experience in operating your own business and must be replaced with a more effective way of thinking.
All businesses in a given market sector vie for the loyalty and patronage of a limited number of customers. Rather than becoming embittered by others doing business in the same sector, choose to be empowered: Control what you can — how you, your team and company operate on a daily basis — and let the rest go. Strive to become better than you were the day before, to consistently achieve excellence in your operations.
Remain aware of what the competition is doing, but keep your focus trained 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 or services you offer and identify where you can improve. By taking this constructive approach, you’ll progress to the next level. Your attention will focus on how you can stand out in the marketplace by operating the very best company you can.
It could be in your best interest to work with a qualified professional business coach and consultant to help you discover where you can make improvements and implement the action steps necessary 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 works alongside you to explore your business from top to bottom with an 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 — if you want to stand out in your sector and grow — changes must be made and followed through to completion. Here again, an effective third party can be a valuable resource in getting the job done and done well.
The business owners I’ve worked 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’s only possible by focusing their undivided attention on their own operations and the task of creating a great company
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.