What is Your Approach to Separate Yourself from the Competition?
When you run a small business it’s common to wonder what your competitors are doing and if they’re doing it better than you. The secret to success is to watch your competition, but avoid the temptation to follow them. Be innovative in your thinking and determine what your business can do differently. This includes working harder, faster, and smarter than the competition by a factor of 10.
Start with a strong business plan and then discipline yourself to follow it. You should be focused about where you stand on your plan every hour that you’re working. Share the plan with your employees and hold them accountable to you. It takes commitment to stand out from the competition so use that time wisely. Look into a pay-for-performance program and see if that helps. And by all means stay off the golf course.
Most of the business owners I’ve dealt with over the years love to tear it up on the fairway. There’s just something about donning those plaid pants and driving a little battery powered vehicle that invigorates the ego and makes people feel like they belong to a special class of fat cats. They tell themselves they have to be out there. They’re schmoozing for business and honing their reputations with the rest of the big players. But I doubt too many $100,000 deals have ever been made while playing eighteen holes.
Today’s big winners typically win because of unique business model assumptions, rather than some new technology or complicated product improvements. A few common examples include: Netflix vs Blockbuster, Ebay vs Yard Sales, Walmart vs the local store.
- Remain innovative
- Set goals and hold everyone accountable
- Write a business plan and stick to it
- Pay for performance
- Be committed to stick it out
When your competition’s doing backspins, what can you do differently to stand out? Get out there and start chasing cash instead of balls. Prioritize your goals and end the day under par. Learn to love winning! You haven’t got time for games unless you’re the only one selling whatever it is you sell.