Someone may launch a product or create something that literally is revolutionary or new to the marketplace that has never been available before – and there are many examples of this, including fads – but they usually don’t remain the sole product or service. Someone else comes along to copy, duplicate, improve upon, or offer a slightly different take on what previously had been the only game in town for that product or service.
We will certainly face this challenge if we haven’t already, and just because we have faced competition in the past doesn’t mean that we are inoculated against it in the future. It’s an ongoing challenge.
Not only that, we may encounter competition in three different ways in our businesses. The first is likely the one we consider the most frequently. This is where we are offering a product or service, and doing a good job of it, and along comes a new player to offer similar products or services to our same clientele or a portion of our market – attempting to dilute the market share we have enjoyed and to capture some of it.
This is direct competition to our efforts by others seeking to garner customers from a market where we have enjoyed support. While “we were here first” and might feel that we deserve some respect for our efforts, the intruders are coming anyway.
This means that we need to adapt to the challenge from our competition and make arrangements to minimize its impact and come out on top – as if nothing has changed, even though it has.
The second type of competition we encounter is the reverse of the first one – where we find ourselves needing to make inroads into a marketplace where there already are others doing what we do or what we plan on doing. We find something we like to do because we learn about it somehow, get excited about it, and then discover that there are a couple of major firms (in impact if not also their size) already doing the same thing.
Then we need to figure out a way of being successful in an area that already has established businesses doing exactly what we plan on doing, or something very close to it.
Lastly, there is competing against ourselves – to do better, to sell more, to gain more customers, or to improve upon our performance, for instance. Not everyone is competitive in this sense but many of us are. We strive to be better than we are, to have more of an impact on our marketplace, to serve more people, to really make a difference in the lives of those we serve, and other ways that we can see improvement in what we are doing.
This type of competition drives us to be better and not to be satisfied with our level of knowledge or our accomplishments to date. We always are pushing forward.
Competition can be a great motivator for us to step up our game and continually improve upon what we are doing.