• Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

Janeane's World

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Take The Mystery Out of Running Your Business – How Do Your Competitors Do It

It-is-thrilling-to-know

It is thrilling to know that you can take some of the mystery out of running your business by looking at the way your competitors do things. Entrepreneurs are often ego driven creatures. After all, it takes a certain amount of hubris to start your own business enterprise and offer your products and services to the world. While that ego has great benefit and can help one succeed in business, it is important not to let ego keep you from looking at lessons you can learn from your competitors. I have a client who started a business providing a utility service in an area where that type of service was new.  There were a few competitors, but more than enough business to go around. My client and his partner were smart, educated and full of energy. They should have been able to succeed at this or any other venture they attempted. However, their business failed. They failed in part because they did not look at their competitors as potential teachers. The competitors had been in the business a year longer and were successfully serving customers while my clients were wondering how to get clients and how to service the few clients they had.

When I suggested my clients talk to the competition or some of the former employees in order to learn why they were successful, my clients laughed and said the competition lacked intelligence and business savvy and that there was nothing they could learn from them. Interestingly, three years later, the competitors are still in business and earning a profit while my client, now former client, shall soon be out of business. Ego should not prohibit us from learning from our competitors. As long as they are in business and serving customers, our competitors have things to teach us.

For most business owners, business is not a monopoly. This means that there are other businesses that sell or do the same products and services you offer. Your competitors will probably do things better or differently than you do.  For example, if your competitors charge different prices or offer a different product mix find out why? Do they do things differently by chance or design? Look at how your competitors do things so that you can learn from both their successes and failures. It is important to look for opportunities to make competitors collaborators in our success. This is the idea behind chambers of commerce. Business owners get together to share stores, brag about successes and look for solutions for problems and ways to turn around failures.

 

Keep in mind, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. That is a mistake many entrepreneurs make. Instead of being innovative and creative, they waste time and energy by trying to create a new way to do things when current methods used by the competition, are in fact the best methods possible. If your competitors have created a method of doing something that works and you can safely, legally and morally copy that method in your business, copy it. For example, my former customer with the utility business mocked the way the competitors’ sales force sold service one size only and offered multiple units of that one size rather than custom making each order. What my client did not see is that the one size only method was easy for a newly trained sales staff to understand, sell and explain to customers. The one size method also made it easy to calculate costs, profit, and commission for the sales staff. Instead of seeing potential benefits of the competition’s methods, my former clients bad-mouthed their methods and behaved as if they were superior.

People often say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, when it comes to business, this is often not the case. I believe you can learn something new every day if you try. So, rather than taking the attitude that you have been doing something the same way since you started in business, stop and figure out if there is something you can learn from the competition. In conclusion, it is thrilling to know that you can take the mystery out of running your business by looking at the way your competitors do things. So, the question for you this thrilling day is, what can you learn from the competition to make your business better?

53 thoughts on “Take The Mystery Out of Running Your Business – How Do Your Competitors Do It”
  1. What great information! It takes a lot of hard work to run a successful business. It is definitely smart to see what works for us and to observe what is making others successful as well.

  2. You are right, competition is healthy and there is nothing wrong with monitoring what is going on with others.

  3. You are right! In my law practice, I had a friend in practice with her brother and when he got sick there were so may lawyers that pitched in and helped for free it was incredible.

  4. Thank you! I feel the same way, I learn so much from you and my fellow bloggers. I feel fortunate to be in a position to learn every day.

  5. You are right and there is a certain amount of originality in taking what works for others and transforming it to work for us!

  6. As a blogger who works at home, we have to pay attention to what others are doing. I think that is our version of talking around the water cooler.

  7. I am glad you liked what I shared. We can learn from almost everyone if we try to see what they have to teach us.

  8. I agree. I like seeing what other bloggers are doing and the things I like I try to incorporate to make my blog better.

  9. What great advice! I watch and see what works for my competitors and then try to use that but improve it to work better for me.

  10. Great article! It is amazing how it takes so much to run a business and to make it work you have to play smart. Observe other competitors and apply it on to your business and how you can better it.

  11. I need to do this; I need to do some research on writers in my field and see what they’re doing to be successful.

  12. this is so true, we should ensure that we have all the tricks to advertise our business and make it even popular..

  13. Owning a business is not a free ticket to instant access to cash. It needs a lot of hard work and patience. Knowing the competition is very important too. That will help to win at the end of the day.

  14. I think this is a smart way to approach things. It definitely pays to think about what your competition is doing that is working and not working.

  15. I’ve been starting to look and see which time-saving tools other social media managers are employing as I am just starting in that position myself.

  16. We used to have a family owned business and it was extremely competitive. I do love though that all the little shops pitched in to help each other to compete with the larger ones and for sick days they would also help out. It was truly amazing to see such a thing among competitors.

  17. Great advice–having been a free lance bookkeeper I have seen up close how ego can bring a company to its knees–there are many organizations you can join in your field where ideas are shared! Take advantage of them–even if you think you don’t need new ideas! Heck ot can’t hurt and can certainly help.

  18. I love watching others and their accomplishments. Inspires me to new ways of looking at things!

  19. Thank you for this. I think sometimes we get wrapped up with what we are doing and forget to look at our competitors and others who are doing what we are or want to do. I really appreciate the way you reminded us and let us know where we go from here.

  20. This applies to us, bloggers, as well. I learned new tings about effective blogging everyday from other bloggers I visit just like you.

  21. I completely agree with you, the best thing to do is to look at what is working for others and take their cue. We should not be looking to come out with the most original idea but to apply the things that have been proven to make businesses succeed. Great post!

  22. Thanks for the information. I probably lack in keeping up with what’s happening. This is a great reminder.

  23. As a blogger who works from home I’m always paying attention to latest trends, hot affiliates, etc

  24. This is really great advice and very wise! You are so correct in that our ego should not prohibit us from learning from our competitors. As long as they are in business and serving customers, our competitors have things to teach us! Amen to that!
    You had some very good questions to reflect on also so thank you for that!

    Healthy blessings

  25. I definitely keep an eye on other bloggers to see what they’re doing and how it works for them. It’s helped me refine what activities I use in my blogging.

  26. Observe the competitors closely, learn from their good practice and mistakes.

  27. I watch my competitors closely because a lot of times it will inspire new ideas for my own business.

  28. Without a vision, the people perish. Knowing how others do it helps one figure out how to do it for themselves.

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