Although many of us believe that competition is not something one should strive for, economics teaches us otherwise. When looked at closely, competition, as a whole, does a lot more good than it does damage. The beauty is that, since monopolies are technically illegal, you can't really avoid competition. So, you may as well accept it for what it is — inevitable — and learn to use it to your advantage.
Don't get me wrong, your competition is your enemy — an enemy that should be destroyed. It's the process of destroying the competition that is most useful. Without it, your company would just be deadweight. Because there is always competition, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists and everyone in between has to be at the top of his or her game, 100 percent of the time.
The only way to take out the competition is to take over the share of the market. In order to take over the largest share of the market, you have to provide the best service, product and overall value to consumers. In other words, you have to be a better company than your competitors. This goes the same, regardless if your company is a multi-billion-dollar corporation, a small business, or you personally; a business is a business and in order to win, you need to be better than your competition.
If you're not winning, you are losing. Having enemies that keep you focused on winning, and on creating the most value for those that are buying whatever it is you are selling, is an asset money can't buy, but one that the prospect of money naturally creates.
Companies will steal ideas from each other on the regular; stealing is second nature. How long does one company own an idea before others start to copy it? Even with a patent, not very long. Patents are great… except that companies often find the inevitable lawsuit to still be worth the profit. If we aren't talking LLC, the rule still applies.
Let's say that you're an athlete gunning for first place. What is the first thing you're going to find and dissect? The first place athlete's training and diet schedule. You'll learn his routine, how he gets ahead and how he plans to win. Then, you’ll find a way to do it better. The upside is that this thievery invigorates innovation — two heads are much better than one. Competition is the best catalyst for brainstorming sessions. As long as neither competitor gets comfortable being second, the innovation will be limitless.
Thanks, in large part, to social media and the ease with which people consume information, the company's public appearance will need to be pristine. With technology advancing, the ability to hide things is becoming more and more difficult; companies are continuously becoming more and more transparent. With knowledge comes power and if the knowledge isn't in your favor, then it will harm you greatly.
For this reason, your image matters a whole lot. The things that you do, the things that you don't do, whatever information has, or could possibly, become public, will either help or hurt you. Making sure to do your best to put good out into the world, to support the right causes and to give back to the society is the only way to avoid a boycott.
Your enemies will teach you more about your industry, your market, your company and yourself than anything else will. Enemies force you to be the best version of yourself. Such healthy competition should be sought after, not avoided. Too much competition can obviously saturate a market. However, no market was ever too saturated for innovation.
Innovate, pivot and create a whole new market if you have to. There is always a way to grow, change, survive and prosper. You just have to get creative. It's actually much easier when there's competition breathing down your neck.
Top photo credit: WENN
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