The Art of Competition
There is so much competitive “stuff” happening out in the world right now: Will the Broncos win the Super Bowl?*; what will Trump’s next move be?; “Bernie said what?”; the Oscars; the Grammys—everyone is out to win something and you should be, too.
Competition is healthy. It puts fire in the belly of your employees, drives revenue, innovation and will jumpstart the marketplace. Simply stated, competition pushes companies to be better in every way. In an article published in the November issue of Inc. magazine titled, “Why Competition May Be the Best Thing for Your Business,” Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group, a Boulder, Colorado-based VC firm, gave this advice for companies concerned about the competition: “Be obsessively focused on your competitors while ignoring them.”
What exactly does this mean? Know what they are up to and be educated on their capabilities. Your competition can teach you. Look for gaps in services and fill them—filling a void can generate buckets of new revenue. Understanding the business of others also will allow you to pick and choose areas to focus on based on the successes or failures of others.
But, don’t obsess about what they are doing. Stay laser-focused on your own growth and goals, and know what differentiates your company in the marketplace. You always will have areas where you excel—capitalize on them and market to them.
And lastly, sometimes you can even team up with the competition. If there are areas of expertise that dovetail nicely, collaboration is a great way to work with the competition for the good of both parties, especially when working within a highly competitive market.
*The Broncos did, in fact, win the Super Bowl with a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers.