When you focus on your competition, you may miss out on a great opportunity to make yourself stand out. We have all stared at a competitor's website and thought "I am not as good as they are". In this post I will discuss three reasons why I do not worry about the competition.
1 | I Am My Biggest Competitor
The truth is, there will always be someone else who is bigger and better than I am, so I feel that worrying about the competition takes away from what I could be doing to stand out and be different. I set goals and focus on creating obtainable achievements for my business month after month, year after year. This allows me to view myself as my largest competition, as I am always trying to exceed my own goals. I am the only person that decides if I succeed or fail; my competition in reality has no bearing on that.
Also, there is not another business out there that does the exact same thing I do - products, the customer experience, process, packaging, my website, etc. so I am truly my own competition.
2 | Competition is Good
I have come to realize that competition is good. Really, it is! I would not be able to handle the millions of brides out there who are getting married in the next year - that would not be realistic. I also do not offer every design aesthetic in existence - if I did, I wouldn't have something special that catches my client's attention.
Competition can be wonderful for your business, by allowing you to be creative and different from someone else. I have made many friends in my industry, who offer the same type of products that I do. We bounce ideas off one another, and it really helps to know others in your field. By embracing the competition, you allow yourself to slowly improve year after year. Also, no one knows what you are going through better than someone who provides the same product or service as you!
The best way for someone who worries about the competition is to focus instead on finding your ideal client. You have competitors; however, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are targeting the exact same clientele that you are. Once you are able to find your ideal client, build a strategy that will help your business and distract you from worrying about others.
3 | Time
When you spend too much time worrying about your competitors, your customers can suffer. As with most small business owners, I put many hours in every week, so finding the time to even research what others are doing doesn't fit into my schedule.
I prioritize my time by building a solid client base, providing products that fit my personal aesthetic, and managing the operations of my business. When you remove yourself from worrying about what others are doing, it naturally allows more time for you to focus on what you have control over. Most small business owners already work more than the standard forty hours per week, so adding to this only causes stress and doesn't affect the bottom line.
Community Over Competition
So, how do you embrace the competition? Join them! I attended The Creative at Heart Conference earlier this year, and learned to embrace Community Over Competition. Try getting involved with Facebook groups that encompass small business owners, as well as groups that are in your industry. Search for groups that will work for you and your industry, and get to know your competition!