Competition is necessary and part of life. Throughout our lives, we compete with others and ourselves. In our personal lives, we compete for companionship, we compete in sports activities, we compete with the person in front of us trying to grab whatever it is we want that’s on sale. On a business level, we compete for customers, clients, products and services.
In our world, we experience varying levels of competition on a daily basis. When you truly begin analyzing your thoughts, competition comes up time and time again – because we are competing for the basics of life, as well as those things we believe we want and need.
Many people consider being competitive a bad thing, but that’s a narrow viewpoint, in my opinion. If we humans didn’t have a competitive nature, we’d be pretty hard to motivate. And if there were no competition in business, monopolies would rule and most of us would be out of business. Competitive pricing, the desire for a business to offer better service than another, and the goal of customer retention are ways that competition help us survive and thrive as business owners.
Competition is necessary!
However, despite the importance of competition to business success, it is one of the most misunderstood of all the key business concepts. Competition does not mean a no holds barred, take no prisoners, blood sport. Instead, it’s a reason to grow, get better at what you do, and find new ways to meet your market’s needs.
“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is.” Vince Lombardi
Competition is also a catalyst for creativity. When someone else creates a product or service that’s better than yours, you have two choices. You can complain and give up, or you can get creative and find a way to improve yours, or come up with a whole new solution, entirely. If “necessity is the mother of invention”, I’m pretty sure competition shows up somewhere above mom in that family tree.
When researching a new product or service idea, competition is necessary to prove there is a need in the market. It might seem illogical, but you really don’t want to invest time, effort and money into creating a product or service only to find out no one wants or needs it. Seeing competition in the marketplace is a good sign that your product or service will be viable.
Competition gets a bad rap, I think. Rather than avoid it, we should welcome it. It makes us better, stronger, more resilient and more creative – all desirable qualities to have as business owners, don’t you think?