If there is one thing that never intimidated or bothered me on business it was competition.
On a recent visit back to Dubai (one of my favourite cities in the world) the sheer grandeur and cost of living there never ceases to amaze me. Yes they will shower you with offer but very few compete – Why?
Because they don’t have to, there service and offerings (in their opinion) don‘t need to and they know that the vast majority of their clients visiting Dubai are not looking for cheap – often in Dubai it’s quite the opposite.
During my time as a business coach to tradespeople I witness often the fear or sometimes anger in my coaching clients voices and demeanour when we discuss their competition within their trade business.
”They’re copying our ways of working ”
”This company is undercutting my company “
”How can we compete”
”They’re so cheap”
It would be very rare for me to speak with a coaching client and hear then express admiration to another competitor and this intrigues me…..
During my time starting up my own trade business way before I hired a business coach I merely looked around the industry, I looked at what I found worked and what clearly was‘nt working and picked the best bits and added to them…
There was one company in particular who stood out a little and I have no doubt the gentleman who owned this company at one point would have asked the question
”Is he copying our ways of working”
The truth is I wasn’t, he was doing it wrong” BUT I liked the way he was positioned in the industry and his brand was good and his business name was pretty clever so I copied some of it. I looked at other less scrupulous companies and knew I wanted to be nothing like this and made sure my business was never going to operate in such ways and with a business plan full of the good and the bad I set about building a company that I could be proud of.
And low and behold within 18 months we were the biggest (and best in my opinion) driveway & landscaping in Edinburgh and low and behold everyone it seemed started to replicate what we were doing – and I loved it. The plan was working…….
Having never fitted a slab before I knew I would need to pay for fitters and materials AND me, I also knew that I wasn’t prepared to do this for merely a fitters wage (I could get a job driving a bus for not much less) and I knew the tradespersons mindset was always to earn a decent wage therefore I knew I was going to be ‘my wage’ more expensive plus whatever additional profit I wanted per job. I knew from some fairly brief market research that my competition was working for a wage (they still do some of them) and therefore knew I was going to be around double the price for a driveway compared to them – This never ever put me off and I stood firm with my prices but knew I had to be different and this is the lifeblood of Tradecoach Business Coaching to this day.
A rising tide raises all boats
Knowing what I was charging (a rising tide) my competition starting raising their prices too (boats rising) they started copying some of our services and offerings which made me work harder to raise the bar again and this continued for many years only by the time my competition had cottoned on to merely one of my added offerings I had added ten and the gap got bigger and bigger in no time.
The moral of this story is competition in business is a good thing. It’s pivotal to your business charging more and it forces you to be better.
If all business are offering the same then the client will obviously go with the cheaper price but if your offering more then the client has a decision to make and by in large especially if you are targeting the right client they will NOT choose price.
Stop worrying about what your competition and make YOU your only competitor.