So let us begin by venturing into the meaning and understanding of business competition
A business competition is one who:
- Sells the same things you sell or offer the same services that you offer..
- Their focus is on the same customers that you focus on..
- Their pricing is similar or the same like your pricing..
- Your products have similar qualities and uses or your services render the same content and satisfaction..
- Some competitions are located in the same vicinity with your own business.. Or the same neighborhood or the same city like your business…
Now business competition is of two types :
- A healthy competition and
- A threatening competition
Let us start with the healthy competitions
1. A healthy competition spurs you on to do better..
2. A healthy competition prevents you from exploiting your customers on pricing and other things bcos they stand as a very good alternative..
3. A healthy competition challenges your quality of service and creativity in business.. Almost like forcing you to remain relevant..
4. A healthy competition stretches you to go beyond your present abilities so as to meet up or catch up with your peers in business..
5. A healthy competition will use innovation, great customer service, and friendly pricing to draw your customers to themselves.
The threatening Competition :
1. They always work to undo you, your business and your efforts.
2. They are easily hostile towards you or any efforts or advancement of friendship or partnership from you.
3. A threatening competition can raise up unnecessary dust or storm to be targeted towards you. So as to reduce your presence in the market space..
4. They can use propaganda and local /street gossip to discredit you before your customers so as to draw them to their own business..
Let me share two examples with you and you decide which one is which….
Two phone shops in a city, in fact in the same neighborhood… One shop finds it difficult to attend to you if you want a refund.. (for whatever reason)
The other shop would replace your phone if it is faulty within 90 days of purchase…
The first shop also would not give you warranty on phones they did not buy directly from the manufacturer.. But the second shop gives you warranty on every phone you buy from their shop. Whether they bought it directly from the manufacturer or not.
Second example :
Two bakers in the same city.. The older and bigger one, gets to hear that the new baker was coming to town.. Contacts housing agents to let them know where this new baker is intending to locate.. And for eight months the big old baker goes to every location where the new baker wants to occupy, offers a higher rent to the property owner and sublets it to other users for ridiculous rent.. Finally the new baker gets a location and is trying to set up, the old baker alerts inspectors of their business and other regulatory agencies, gives them personal tips to frustrate the new baker’s operations.. The new baker could not commence operations for the next one year.. The new baker lost all his products in the store plus a year’s rent wasted.. Until Divine intervention came.. A new head of the regulatory body comes to town and is approached by this same old baker, but the new regulator chose not to be corrupted, sends for the new baker and revealed all the behind the scenes moves of the old baker… And assists him to commence operations..
Think on this scenario… Why do the igbo traders wherever they are found operate well in the midst of competition??? But the ikwerre trader in pH would rather ignore you if you choose to buy from their neighbor, and would not assist their neighbor to sell in their absence if what you really want is in that shop.. But the igbo trader will help his or her neighbor sell??
Why would the Cross River trader refuse to assist her neighbor to sell her items, but will be proud to tell you… She no dey…. She go far!!!! ??
Why would the next hairdresser tell you how the other hairdresser nearby causes trouble in the neighborhood and fights with everyone including customers?? And the day you venture into the other shop, she seizes to exchange pleasantries with you????
At this juncture let me conclude….
My professional advice is ;
1. Endeavor to correctly identify your business competitions before you mistake a healthy competition for a threatening competition and vise-versa..
2. If you cannot match the strength, strategies and style of your competition, add up to them by becoming an extension of their leadership..