My thoughts on competitors

This is where Mike Strand, President of StrandVision Digital Signage takes a few minutes to share his thoughts on business, marketing, employee communications and the digital signage industry.
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My thoughts on competitors

Postby mjstrand » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:40 pm

Do you ever find yourself worried about your competition? My view on competitors is kind of weird compared to most people I know. As you know, a competitor can be anyone who has the potential to work against you. That can be in your personal life or business life. This article relates to the business side, but can correlate to personal objectives as well.

If you are doing something without competition, then you are either so far ahead of the evolution curve that it will be years before you can succeed (after training your potential customers) or you are doing something that has already been tried and failed. My hope is that for everything you do, you have competition. By having competition, it tells you that you are doing something that is interesting to other people. Whenever I identify a new competitor, I take a moment to relish the thought that someone is interested, and then put my personal focus back towards moving forward with sales, and let the competition trail behind us.

I have discovered that when I focus on what other people are doing, my time is not spent moving forward, and as a result, our progress does not move forward. Its like trying to drive my car forward, looking behind me like I am backing up. Who knows where the car will go, but probably not where I want it to. I have had many occasions in the past where I could have sued someone for “wronging” me. I usually didn’t go after them because it would have diverted my focus into a defensive position. Even in a large company, that slows future growth. If you have your own legal department, it may be different, but if the person doing the looking at the competition has another job, that person's regular work stops. Focusing on the offensive position may not give you the short term satisfaction by stopping a wrong-doer, but I’ve found the life will take care of them one way or another because they do wrong to most everyone.

Another thing related to competitors that I’ve learned is that even if you do not take the time to review every competitor, your customers will often do that work for you and ask you to add the best pieces to your product or service. I have found it to be successful to focus on the future and have competitors get distracted by looking at you with your satisfied customers and your loads of sales.
Mike is president of StrandVision Digital Signage and also does business marketing consulting through MikeStrand.com.

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