Of course you need to know what your competitors are doing especially when you are on the hunt for new business.

You want to know exactly what you are up against.

And it’s helpful to understand what may entice your existing customers to jump ship, if they were that way inclined.

But don’t spin your wheels worrying about what your competition has done or could do to your business.

This is such a waste of your energy.


Instead focus on your strengths


When I first started up in business I knew I needed to decide on my area of innovation, namely quality or price or convenience.

It stands to reason that no-one can actually be a leader in all three areas at the same time.

As a service provider you cannot deliver a premium service at record speed at rock bottom prices.

When you start out you may feel the pressure to deliver in all three areas so you can get a foothold in the market and outshine your competition, but ultimately this is a recipe for disaster.


What is your area of innovation?


So what is it you want to be known for?

Do you have a commitment to excellence, something that you feel is lacking in your industry?

Perhaps you’d like to be known for your fast turnaround?

Or maybe you are able to produce your offering at a cheaper price than your competitors?

Remember you cannot combine these attributes.

You are sure to fail in at least one or more areas and in the process cause irreparable damage to your reputation.

Let alone drive yourself crazy and send yourself broke!


So what makes you unique?


Your area of innovation is just one piece of your unique offering.

What makes you stand out from your competitors is your biggest strength, the thing you do exceptionally well and that you enjoy doing the most.

Your area of innovation combined with your biggest strength plus your technique and experience is what makes you incomparable.


Become a leader, not a follower


You should focus on how you can offer something that is truly distinctive, something your ideal customers really want and need.

You want to concentrate your efforts on being innovative, on becoming a leader within your industry, not a follower.

Innovation should be proactive, not reactive.


Make your foe your friend!


Times have changed.

You don’t need to be at war with the competition.

They don’t have to be your enemy.

Do yourself a favour and get rid of that scarcity mentality.

Acquire an abundance mindset!

Competition in itself is not such a bad thing.

It’s an indicator that there are plenty of customers out there who are in need of your services.

And there’s enough to go around.

Find some common ground with your competitors.

It’s all about collaborating with each other to collectively get more customers.

I’ve personally assisted several service providers form strategic alliances.

Even though they worked within the same industry they had distinctive preferences for the type of work they performed and the sort of customers they preferred to work with.

Their services were complimentary.

By joining forces and working alongside each other they shared the load and both prospered.

Of course it’s important before you create a joint venture to ensure it will deliver results without hurting your own profits.

You both need to have similar values and expectations.

So make sure you do your homework before you jump into any kind of partnership with a competitor.