Competition is everywhere you look in the business world. We compete for money, recognition, customers, and power. We compete in terms of prices, products, and even employees. You may wonder, “What’s wrong with competition? Doesn’t it help improve products and build a richer society? Doesn’t it make our lives easier, safer, and more productive?” The answer is yes, business competition is good … if it is healthy competition.
Healthy business competition is normal, good-natured, and concentrated on offering the best value to consumers. However, competition becomes unhealthy when it is excessive and mean-spirited.
One problem that surfaces when companies engage in unhealthy competition is the increased tension. This can be seen between big businesses and small businesses, businesses and employees, and even businesses and customers. But this tension doesn’t have to exist, if you are willing to see your competition in a different light.
While it is true that competition is the essence of capitalism, it does not mean that you need to declare war on your competitors. And though it may sound crazy, your toughest competitors can be positive assets to your company.
Consider this: your toughest competitors are the businesses that stand behind their products and services, charge a fair price, and enhance the reputation of your industry. Why not spend your energy finding ways to work in tandem with your competitors instead of bringing them down? Your efforts to work together could help your company reduce marketing costs, spur innovation, and even lead to new marketing opportunities.
In many industries, businesses select a particular market segment or take on a specialty. Businesses that feel limited by their existing niche markets can benefit from strategic partnerships with other similar businesses, allowing them to target a broader base without having to bear the full marketing cost. By joining forces with your competition and promoting your industry, region, or companies as a group, you can enhance the image of your individual companies and, in turn, increase sales for all.
By forming business alliances, you can not only learn more about your industry and different marketing techniques, but you can also reach more customers, gain more business through referrals, and possibly fill a gap in your company’s abilities. It’s definitely a win-win situation.
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