People’s attitudes to other businesses that are in competition to their own are variable. Some adopt the “head in the sand” approach and just ignore competitive businesses, while at the other extreme, some business owners get very concerned about their competition. What approach have you taken?
The key to this is to make sure you are not making assumptions. When I start working with new clients we always have a good look at what their competition is doing. Invariably this provides a whole lot of very interesting information. Quite often we’ve found:
- No-one is targeting exactly the same niche
- Very poor websites
- Interesting pricing.
The point here is that you need to do your homework. The typical competitor homework that my clients do involves spending some time on Google doing the type of searches you would expect your ideal clients to do to find you on Google, and making a list of:
- All the potential competitors you find
- What they offer
- How they are positioning themselves (basically what value are they saying they offer to their clients, what credibility are they giving themselves etc) and importantly any obvious things they aren’t saying they can do
- How are they marketing themselves (are they using social media, if so how often, what are they posting about etc, do they offer free resources, are they speaking at events etc etc)
- How they price their products and/or services.
This level of understanding will help you see how to position yourself with your blend of ideal clients, products and services. By doing this effectively you will start to reap the benefits and to remove the concept of competition for your business.
Personally I feel that focusing too much on your competition is quite a negative stance as it means you don’t feel you are as “good” as they are. This in turn will help to fuel the self-doubt in your head which certainly is not helpful! It is important though to understand how you are different from your competition especially if, from your ideal client’s viewpoint, there are numerous providers for what you offer in your area.
Take some positive action today and decide how to set yourself apart from your competition.