Don’t Fear Competition; Embrace It!

Embracing competition is a difficult concept to grasp, and entrepreneurs are often discouraged by the amount of competitors in their space. You may be thinking, “I’m great at what I do and provide awesome services, but there are SO many people that do the same thing. Should I just go work for one of them?” That’s a hard question. My best answer is a resounding “maybe”.  You really have to take stock, honestly.  Two questions I’d start with are:

  • How important is it to you that you be “in charge”?  I don’t mean in charge of your life, but rather how much do you value being “the boss”.  For me, I could easily go work for someone else as long as they valued my contribution, didn’t micromanage me and paid me well (plus, I’d have to be sure my core values aligned with theirs).  I’m not one of those entrepreneurs who feels the need to always be in control.  But if you are, then stay put. You’ll never be happy having to report to someone else (bad enough that you have to “report to” your clients – but at least you can fire them!)
  • How strong is your desire (and ability!) to develop your business?  If you love providing your service, but HATE the “selling” part, then you’ve got a couple of choices.  The first is to become so well-branded that you don’t have to sell yourself (I can help you with that), hire someone to do it for you, or yes, consider going to work for someone else.  If you’re working for someone else, you can forgo one of the most critical aspects of entrepreneurship: getting the business.

How can you compete with someone far more experienced?  The best way is to highlight what’s different about you!  Go BIG with being less experience.  Talk about how you can bring “fresh eyes” or “new perspectives” to a situation.  Perhaps you can offer more “Principal attention” or just more enthusiasm.  Just remember, what’s different is what’s important.  Don’t try to mimic your more seasoned competitor’s message, but rather position yourself as “Unlike my more seasoned competitors, I am X”. Also, don’t forget that a partnership with your more experienced competitor could be a great solution.  You never know unless you ask!

The best way to find out how to distinguish yourself among your competitors is to ask your current clients.  Why did THEY choose you?  Once you find out what they found unique about you, what they specifically liked about you, you’re on the right track. Using their language on your website and in your conversation is a great method for capturing your distinguishing advantage.

Stay positive about competition – especially your competitors who are doing very well – because it means that your product or service is needed and wanted. Need that extra encouragement before heading into a big meeting? Call me, and after we talk you will have the confidence you need to be a top competitor in your industry.

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