If you’re thinking of starting – or are currently growing – the business of your dreams, you aren’t alone. In fact, over 627,000 small businesses* start up every year! This is great for job creation and the overall economy, but you might be worried about competitors overshadowing you in such a large market. -* Small Bus. Chronicle 2019
The word “competition” in and of itself tends to strike fear in the hearts of small business owners. But what if we told you that competition wasn’t the business equivalent of the boogeyman? What if we told you that competition is beneficial and something you should embrace?
Well, it’s the truth! A competitive marketplace can have a lot of benefits for your expanding business. Let’s take a few moments to examine the top reasons why competition is good for growing your company!
Eight ways competition is good for businesses
1. Competition Inspires Innovation
The first and possibly most significant way that competition improves business is by inspiring innovation in business leaders and employees alike. Studies show that people perform better, take more calculated risks, and show more creativity when under pressure from competition.
In order to compete in the broader marketplace, you’ll be forced to think outside the box in ways you wouldn’t need to otherwise. Using this creativity, you’ll learn to be more efficient and create a more effective brand.
2. You’ll Learn from Your Competitors
Competitors are good motivators.
You can also learn from what they’re doing in a more concrete sense. By looking into what’s working for people who sell similar goods and services, you’ll be able to implement strategies for your business that have been shown to work before.
Check out the websites of these competitors to get started! After that, check out their prices and benefits to see if there’s any way you can swing a better deal for your customers.
Finally, see what promotions and strategies are getting people through your competitor’s doors – maybe you can try something similar in the future!
3. You Won’t Get Lazy and Sloppy
Having competition in business will also prevent you and your workers from becoming complacent and your operational edge lost. If you have no one to work against, you’re bound to get overly comfortable and stop trying to sell yourself as best you can.
This laziness can be detrimental to your business since you won’t be executing effectively, innovating or branding properly.
On the other hand, the knowledge that there’s competition out there that wants your business adds a drive to the workplace. People will understand that there’s a goal to be met: The goal of doing better than those competitors and getting more business.
4. Target Customers are Easily Found
A more concrete benefit to competition is watching other businesses similar to yours and studying who frequents them. Looking into their business trends and their consumer base will give you a pretty good representation of what demographics you should be targeting.
Each service always targets one group of people over others. Whether your services are to be targeted to a certain gender, age group, or socioeconomic class can sometimes be difficult to determine.
Luckily, if you have competitors, they’ve already done that work for you!
Look into who your competitors are targeting. It’s likely that you will want a similar market. To get more people, you can use sites like Google keywords to see what people are typing into search engines. Use that data to assess your audience!
5. People Already Want Your Services
Having competitors that offer similar services to you is also a confidence builder insofar as you know that people already want to give their businesses to companies like yours. This lets you know that you have a base and therefore can be successful if you use your resources wisely.
Beyond being this confidence boost, you also will know that people want your services in areas where they potentially haven’t been able to get them before. Looking into where people are searching keywords for your business from can give you new ideas for geographical locations to which you should cater.
It may be great to be the first to enter a market, but if you have to educate your market about what you offer and what factors they need to look for, you may not survive long enough to be viable. Being the second company in a market means that a lot of the education and targeting will have been done for you.
6. You’ll Have a Pre-Set Standard
Competition also gives you a standard that your business should be meeting right off the bat. It’s easy to say as a new business that you’re doing well when in reality you aren’t meeting the standards that your target customer demands.
With competition, you’ll never have to guess at how well you’re doing. There’s a whole market out there that will let you know, whether you want to or not.
7. Enhanced Online Presence
Having business competition also will enhance your online presence. Since you’ll know your target audience and have more inspiration for creative and innovative marketing, you’ll have a better marketing plan for getting people to find your business on search engines and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
You’ll also be more motivated to seek out services to advertise effectively for your business. Hiring a service to manage your search engine optimization (SEO) will help your business appear higher in the rankings on Google than your competitors.
8. Competition Spices Business Up
The bottom line is that having competitors spices your business up. It keeps you thinking and on your toes, and it forces you to research, innovate, change, and improve. Change is the best way to keep up with your customers and create business growth.
If you don’t out compete yourself, someone else will!
In the end, competition is healthy if not always much fun. It isn’t as scary as it sounds, either, since it’s a simple fact that multiple businesses can thrive even when they have similar services. In fact, it’s likely that everyone will succeed and do better when there’s appropriate competition and good differentiation in the products and services offered.
More About Why Competition is Good
We get it: Growing a business is daunting in the best of conditions, and it becomes a lot harder when you throw competitors in the mix.
Still, it isn’t all gloom and doom!
Competition will inspire a lot more creativity than you otherwise would need, plus it can help you advertise and get clients.
Now that you know why competition is good for business, you need to be the best competitor. That means upping you game, looking at the way you are doing things with a new perspective and “sharpening your saw” with new approaches, training and management practices.