Ready to Grow? Then Mind Your Own Business - Column #201
There are two ways to view marketplace competition. You can focus on others and take yourself and your company away from the success you desire. Or, you can devote your attention to your own company and your path to becoming even better. The second way is the more self-disciplined approach that will enable you to see how to improve operations, make changes and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Focusing your valuable time and energy on what other companies may or may not be doing and resenting their success will limit yours. This mindset will also limit the happiness you experience operating your own business and must be replaced with a more effective way of thinking.
Over the course of my career as a business coach and consultant, I’ve met business owners who’ve lost their way in the face of perceived competition with other businesses. This occurred because of their negative attitudes toward those businesses and their owners — especially when businesses outperformed theirs or had come to town and taken market share that was once theirs.
In some of these situations, I’ve even seen business owners become angry with former customers for exercising their freedom of choice as consumers and going with what they perceived as the better value offered by competitors. A negative mindset is neither necessary nor helpful and will lead to the loss of more customers, market share, team members and possibly even the business itself.
All businesses in a given market sector vie for the loyalty and patronage of a limited number of customers. Rather than become embittered by others doing business in the same sector, become 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 reach for excellence in your own operations.
Remain aware of what the competition is doing, but focus on your own business and study how it operates. Evaluate the effectiveness of your leadership, consider the performance of your managers and team members, look at the quality of the products or services you offer and discover where you can improve. By taking this constructive approach, you’ll fuel your progress to the next level. Your attention will focus on how you can stand out in the marketplace through becoming the best company possible.
This self-focused approach to business is more important than ever. As businesses reopen, customers pay more attention to the products and services they receive. They’re looking for value. Now is not the time to let them down. In fact, this could present one of the greatest opportunities to shine in your customers’ eyes and gain market share.
You might find it to 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 operate an exceptional company.
Once you’ve 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 —necessary changes must be made and followed through to completion.
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’s only possible through undistracted attention devoted to their own operations and the task of creating great companies.
As you focus on your own business, you’ll quickly notice how much more you accomplish with the additional resources previously devoted to thinking about the competition. As you make changes to improve your products and services, you’ll enjoy the increased happiness and success that comes with customers who find more value with you.