OBSESSING over the COMPETITION?
How to take STALKING out of STRATEGY. It’s so easy to become exhaustingly immersed in the perceived on-goings of your competition. Following their Facebook page, tweets, advertising campaigns, market involvement and cross-customer feedback all provide useful information. In many ways, these activities of new-age obsessiveness are effective tools. Understanding competitors marketing methods and analyzing creative strategies they are employing offers insights into how they are, or are not, playing the industry game.
WARNING: Executing these methods to quantify your business success—NOT A GOOD IDEA!
Why? Because you, and your business, are not your competitor. Allowing yourself to be swallowed into the black hole of competitiveness stunts growth, awakens your inner-toddler of comparison and feeds the insatiable monster of self-doubt.
TIPS for turning OBSESSIVE STALKING to EFFECTIVE STRATEGY:
YOUR BUSINESS—THEIR BENCHMARKS.
Excessive focus on your competitors may lead to assessing how you do business against their benchmarks. The result? You begin to manage YOUR Company in a “competitors vacuum” which thwarts creative strategic planning and growth. To be successful (however you define that for you and your business) you need to be GREAT at what YOU do. Not at what they do.
EXPONENTIAL ENERGY SUCKER
The time you spend on what your competition is doing is time you are not spending on your own business. YOU ARE NOT YOUR COMPETITION. Direct your focus on developing and exploiting what makes your business unique and of AWESOME VALUE to your target market. Tell your customers how you are different—how you are faster, better, easier, or more cost-effective to do business with. You are in business for your customers, not your competition.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS
Years ago I introduced myself, in person, to the owner of our retail competitor. I was socially stunned when she refused to shake my hand. I know firsthand that we run our business with the utmost integrity (and train our staff to do the same) so I could see no personal reason for her to be so rude and disrespectful. No professional reason either! We were competitors. Not enemies.
Our business is something that we do and, although a huge part of our lives and intricately connected to our passions, it is not WHO WE ARE. Making this distinction from the beginning will save you many hours of misdirected emotional energy.
Next time I see that woman I just might give her a hug. After all these years of internalizing the world of business on such a profound and personal level…she will need one. So while you are looking up old boyfriends and past high school rivals, take a peak at the competitors Facebook page. Take note of advertising campaigns and keep an eye open for creative marketing strategies. Learn from what they do. File all of this under “competitor collateral” and move on. Focus your energy on your unique offerings and how to connect what you do with those people called customers who want AND need it. That is something your competition just cannot touch.