Why is it that so many start-ups, small businesses and even large scale organisations think competition is a bad thing? It seems as though we have all been taught that there is only room for one player in the game – that’s just not true and business might be a bit boring if it was! In today’s vast business landscape, competition can come in many different forms – and it is not always a bad thing, here’s why:
It keeps things interesting by forcing us to inject some meaning and personality into our brand and offering. A brand without a personality is a brand that lacks meaning and value. If you don’t have these things you’re just a product or service with a price tag. A bit of healthy competition can help your brand evolve and helps you establish who you are and what value you are offering your customers.
Speaking of value, competition pushes us to promote the value a customer will get from a product or service rather than the ‘thing’ itself. At Villa the thing we offer is accounting and business advice services. The value we offer is in providing expert, qualified financial services that our customers can rely on. We also know that our clients value the relationship they have with us and see us as a trusted part of their team. Not all of our competition can say they do the same, this is what sets Villa apart from the rest.
Competition can help to grow your market. When there are multiple players advertising for a slice of a target market it means more and more people are being exposed to your product or service – even if the advertising and activity they’re seeing isn’t yours! A good example of this is the ride sharing app market in New Zealand. Recently a company named Ola entered the market and has quickly become a main competitor to Uber. Ola’s advertising activity has raised its brand awareness and also boosted the awareness of the ride sharing app market as a whole. Ola’s entry into New Zealand has forced both companies to focus on the value they offer customers and drivers, rather than competing only on price.
Business competition validates that your idea is a good one. If another player is willing to spend money to enter the market where you’re operating they must see value in doing so. As the saying goes, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, and it can also back up the notion that your ideas are good ones.
A bit of healthy competition can drive you to be better, better than the competitor and also better than you were before. Competition with others and with ourselves pushes us to upskill and improve or be left behind. Competition is not always about ego. We’re not saying you should kick back and let the competition walk all over you, just recognise the gifts that another player can bring to the game. Own what makes your business different, promote the value you create that makes your product or service special, and avoid reacting to market changes just to follow the “other guy”.
Keen to explore how competition in your market can help you rather than hold you back? Get in touch with the Villa team!