I want to talk to you about your competition. This is a topic that comes up now and then with my clients, especially when working with business owners who have innovative ideas. They often feel like they don’t have direct competition, which makes it hard for them to judge if they’re on the right track.
I also have clients who spend too much time focusing on competitors. This habit can be disempowering; causing entrepreneurs to think their competition is better along with a practice of cutting themselves down and minimizing their accomplishments. So, what’s a mompreneur to do when it comes to competition? Here are some tips to help you find a sweet spot that will help you stay competitive and sane.
Use Competition as a Benchmark For Growth
Looking at your competition is something you want to do, this is especially true if you want to know if you’re on the right track with growing your business. When I started my business, I felt like I had no clue about a lot of things. I had so many questions about how many clients I should have, what I should charge, the number of hours I should work each week, how much my expenses should be, how I should market, and what services I should offer.
These types of questions are why it’s important to stay close to your competition. By understanding your competitor’s model, you can create metrics for your business that will help you measure a reasonable amount of spending and growth.
Study Your Competition To Get Great Ideas
You can learn about different ways to offer your services and products to your target demographic by studying what your creative competition is doing. By paying attention to what other business and life coaches were doing, I learned about a variety of offerings that I implemented into my business such as membership groups,Facebook groups, retreats, and getaways.
Contact Your Competition Directly
It might seem daunting and even crazy to contact your competition, but there may be people you already know in similar industries who are willing to sit down and speak with you. I know a lot of moms in various entrepreneurial groups that I’ve been a part of who are ready to talk about this kind of stuff.
Find a buddy in your marketing or networking support groups. If you don’t have any of those, then you should probably consider joining one. This is a useful practice for entrepreneurs who want to bring something new to the marketplace and can’t find a direct competitor to use as a benchmark.
If you want to know if you’re on the right track, you can network with people in similar industries that are not in direct competition to get an understanding of their business models. If you are a business coach or life coach, you could talk to a personal trainer or business consultant. If you are in retail, you can connect with someone who owns a brick and mortar store that sales something different from what you offer.
By talking to competitors you can get a guide of what seems reasonable, but you will still have to figure out what works best for your business.
Consider Who You’re Comparing Yourself To
When measuring yourself against your competition, it’s important to consider what stage your business is in. You don’t want to waste time comparing yourself to a large multi-level corporation if you’re a solopreneur. Also, consider the amount of time your competition has been in business.
While it’s ok to study companies in a different stage from yours to get ideas or to determine if you’re on the right track for growth, don’t get paralyzed with self-doubt from comparing your endeavors to theirs.
Get A Coach
When I first started my business, I sought advice from coaches. If you’ve never run a business before, a coach is important because they can point out different aspects of your business you may not have considered. I found doing this helped me figure things out instead of flying by the seat of my pants. As a coach, I can help you figure out how to beat your competition.
Understand That The Bus Goes Where You Steer It
You have an influence on how things go in your business. If you find yourself becoming obsessive about every move your competition makes and all it’s doing is making you feel sad, or like you’re not doing well, it’s time to stop. It’s disempowering and causes you to lose focus on your goals and the success you have already achieved. It’s not efficient, productive, and doesn’t yield great results.
Sorting through what your competition is doing and how that needs to compare to what you’re doing is an important thing to figure out. But also realize if it makes you feel bad, sad, and like you’re not getting anywhere. It might mean you’re getting too obsessed with stuff that’s not going to help you.
But if focusing on your competition makes you feel creative, inspired, and you are learning something new, then that is healthy competition.
Want to find out more about your competition and how it can help you thrive? Ready to kick off 2017 on the right foot? Contact me today for your free discovery session!