Coaching – I Have Seen The Competition And It Is Me
If you are on online business owner you need to ask yourself, “Who is my competition?” If you’re like every other self-respecting business owner you have scoured the Internet locating other sites that sell similar merchandise or services. And like most businesses you learn what you can from these sites and make use of what you learn in relation to products, pricing and presentation. Who is your competition? Is it the box store down the street that can sell similar products for less than you can acquire yours? If you’re like most business owners you seek creative ways to market your product in a manner that accentuates the unique features and qualities that can’t be duplicated in traditional box store purchases. But are box stores your competition? Are other online stores your competition? Who is your competition? You are! You are your own competition. As a business owner you need to pay attention to what other businesses do (both online and in brick and mortar counterparts). In the end, however, you are in competition with yourself first and foremost.
You may or may not be able to match or beat another businesses in price, but you can work hard to do better in business this year than you did last by offering more competitive pricing or exemplary customer service. Work hard to outperform yourself. Think for a minute about all the things that you are doing better at this year than last. Don’t limit your thinking to financial data. Are you better able to handle administrative duties this year than last? Are you establishing new networks between business associates and customers? Are you implementing new marketing strategies that you didn’t know about last year? Are you streamlining customer service by developing autoresponders and faster product fulfillment options? Are you making sure your website remains fresh and inviting in a way that you weren’t able to last year? Are you more passionate about your business this year as you were last year? Are you responding to customer requests for certain products and eliminating others that do not sell as well? Are you standing still or are you taking steps of forward progress? I could ask dozens of additional questions, but the point of this exercise is to encourage you to spend more time competing with yourself than with another business.
If you make this your goal you will most often find greater business success. When you compete against yourself you are better able to learn what you can from mistakes you’ve made in the past and improve for the future. When you focus too much on what someone else is doing you are less able to evaluate what mistakes you have (or are) making. In the end you may not have the ability to be objective about how you are doing as a business because you are spending too much time concentrating on a business you don’t own. Maybe this is the year you can start a new and healthy competition – with yourself.