Why you shouldn’t fear your competition
When I saw the latest series of the award-winning TV drama Broadchurch recently, I couldn’t help thinking back to when it was first screened (apologies to non-UK-based readers).
It was on at the same time as another, very similar drama!
Both stories focused on the devastating impact of a child’s death on the community and you couldn’t help but wonder if the two competing TV channels were openly copying each other.
I was rather intrigued by this and here is what I discovered.
To my surprise both had been produced by the same company but for competing channels— and the directors had even read each other’s scripts!
I think this delivers a most reassuring message to solopreneurs and small businesses — that it needn’t be scary to study our competitors (as they will be checking us out too).
So even if you worry about working in the same niche and not being able to compete, try not to lose confidence in your own proposition. In my experience, it is quite rare for competitors to be a major threat to the point where you find suspicious similarities in someone’s offering or pricing.
Indeed, in my twenty-odd years in business I’ve only felt threatened like that once.
Not long after launching a new service seven years ago, I discovered that a competitor was copying my idea by offering something virtually identical. A client had forwarded me what read like my own original marketing messages!
I did feel angry, but not for too long — it turned out my competitor didn’t succeed with the service beyond a few months!
So what’s the learning here?
To always protect your core ideas and not underestimate the need for continuous improvement. And then to stop worrying!
I also realised that my competitor actually hadn’t grasped my service’s benefits, nor did they have the same passion (or experience) to deliver — after all, it isn’t that easy to copy the heart and soul of someone else’s offering.
My point is that we should not fear our competitors, but as some competition is healthy and keeps us on our toes, competitors should always be on our radar, and we must try to find ways to get to know them.
Also, no two offerings are ever exactly the same and understanding your competitors may even help you to understand the heart and soul of your own offering better.
Elbert Hubbard said, “Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed – there’s so little competition.”
About Ute Wieczorek-King:
Hi, my name is Ute and I’m an experienced German business mentor, trainer and blogger who is based in the UK. I help passionate midlife women to stay focused, work smarter and stand out from the crowd.
Take your small venture from good to great with my free “Passion to Profit ebook.
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PS. The above post was first published in 2014 on Success Network Recipes