Sometimes we fear the competition, sometimes we hate them and sometimes we may forget they are even there. But one thing is for sure: just as iron sharpens iron, competition forces us to do more, to do more with less, to do more and do it better than before, sometimes better than we’d even thought possible.
Whether you’re on the top, the bottom or somewhere in the middle, analyzing the competition must factor in to any successful business plan. In most cases, you don’t want to go head to head with competitors in their areas of strength, instead, you want to identify areas where you have a unique advantage, and work to increase the gap.
But there is one area where you can’t afford not to compete, and this one area can help set you apart more than just about any other.
The competition you can’t afford to lose and can’t afford not to engage in is the competition your business is in with itself. Every day and every customer interaction is a new opportunity for you to do better than before.
Lessen the gap between ‘where you are’ and where you ideally want your business to be by pursuing strategic education and training and by building a culture of excellence where staff members are encouraged not only to do their best, but to do even better than that.
Failure is not the enemy of success, complacency is. By continually challenging yourself and every member of your team to best themselves tomorrow, next week, next month and next year, you can create a climate of continual improvement, purposeful change and innovation.
In the coming week or at your next staff meeting, take an honest look at the current benchmarks in your business – where your business is right now. Then talk about what would be different in your business in terms of ideals in each of these areas. Set goals and challenge employees to strive for mastery in their areas of responsibility, excellence in how they deliver each client experience and in their own personal and professional growth and development.
It’s the one competition you can’t afford to lose, and the one that can bring you the most success. It’s going to be a great year!