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August 6, 2012

Your Actions May Be Your Competitors Best Weapon

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Written by: Business + Marketing Resource
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We have all been there; we are working away, creating our own empire in business, King or Queen of our own world and in they walk: The competitor. (The traitor) The person who threatens our very existence just by their presence and we are not happy! We can often become quite focused on what they are doing, how badly are the going to effect us, and immediately we anticipate a fight for what is ours.

“BRING IT ON!” Becomes our mantra and we become focused on them. We have been taught that we can have what we want if we are focused and dedicated…what happens if we focus and dedicate too much time on the competition?

We forget about the good things we are doing
Being derailed from our own path is common, we change our original plans in response to what the competitor is doing. We become the chaser instead of the chased.

We miss opportunities to work together
Many times we raise the “Bring It On!” flag way to early missing the opportunities that may be there to refer each other business or share resources.

Our negative energy attracts more of the same
Just the word competitor feels negative, it puts us in defensive or attack mode. Negative energy attracts more negative energy. Before you know it, your negative feelings toward your competitors, drifts into your relationships with your staff, family, friends and even more importantly clients or future clients. What tends to happen, is what you focus on, becomes all you talk about. It is not an enjoyable experience for others.

Lack of Productivity
It takes time to dwell, worry and put up your defenses. The time you could be spending on your own business initiatives.

We rush to market
If we are motivated to action, it is usually by fear and we can make mistakes. We are afraid that others will have the same idea, or information will be leaked and our competitors will beat us to launch. We put out inferior products or offer a service that is not really ready to be fully supported.

Let’s stop and think for a moment. While we are so focused on them, what are they focused on? Why are they moving forward while we are spinning in the same place? Maybe while we were focused on them, they were focused on our clients, the industry needs, the voids, using new technology and creating relations with others.

Over the years, I have learned to shed off focusing on Competition. Many have heard me say “I believe in CO-OPETITION instead of Competition…(unless someone raises the “bring it on flag” than my basic competitive gene kicks in and I have to remind myself what happens when we become to focused, so I choose to take my wins by not focusing on them)

competition flag

Why do I choose CO-OPETITION?
There are a few reasons:

To grow the industry together!
We can build a bigger pie! Who says the industry pie has to be the same size every year. With co-opetition we can educate more people on the benefits of the service or product. Help generate the economy in general.

Establish a positive energy in the industry
When people work together on the same goals, with a win-win for everyone involved we can’t help but create a positive energy especially when our clients and the economy are positively effected by our actions.

Opportunities for more clients
During the relationship, it is often realized one company has a niche market or a fabulous supplier that we can offer to our clients. It makes more sense financially to refer that work to our clients and still make a referral fee. Or better, we can refer out the work we don’t make much on, or dislike doing. This extends our resources, allowing us to spend time on the things we make more money on and like doing; making our work days more enjoyable and/or profitable.

Our sphere of influence grows
We build relationships, growing our network instead of being blocked by theirs. We harm ourselves if by refusing to work with one person in a group, blocks us from working with the entire group.

I am not saying stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and not be aware of what others in the field are doing or how they are playing the game around you. I only caution that if you are completely caught up and focused on their activities, your own actions could become the most effective weapon your competitor has.

So, do you believe in co-opetition or competition? Do you look at those with the same clients as you as an opportunity to share the burden and give better service to your client…or are you afraid someone might get a bite of your pie?

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