Use Your Competition Wisely

Edison & Tesla. Ali & Frazier. Gates & Jobs. Sometimes, history defines a person by their competition, as much as by their successes. Two waves can cancel each other out – or achieve an unparalleled height. How well do you know the other wave-makers in your industry? Are you using them to help your business?

Know What They’re Doing…

What capital are they investing in? Which vendors are cutting them a deal? Where are their marketing dollars going? The trailblazer works the hardest, and often missteps; stay close enough to walk the path with less effort, but far enough away to recognize the pitfalls. There are efficiencies in letting them go first!

…And What They’re Not

Are they taking a roundabout path? Overlooking an important demographic or low-hanging fruit? Struggling to recognize a return on investment? Don’t be afraid to seize opportunities to diversify, whether that’s pivoting early or letting the competition pivot while you stick with what works. Getting stuck in the complacency of a follower can cause you to miss the opportunity to jump in front.

Use Their Efforts…

McDonald’s invests heavily in market research and identifying the perfect location – visibility, traffic count, ease of entry, local demographic analysis, and more. Burger King waits – then puts one across the street. A good competitor can show you where the market is trending, and where you need to focus; re-invest what you save in R&D in your Advertising, and aim to be the alternative… every Coke needs a Pepsi.

…And Plan for Mutual Success

At the end of the journey, your competitors are prime targets for you to expand & aquire – or sell and retire. Either way, you want to know their strengths & weaknesses, market position, and goals. Don’t be afraid of their success; just make sure you’re mirroring it. Two competing entities can bring attention to a market and strengthen both.

 

Know Thyself, Know Thine Enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.

– Sun Tzu

 

Raynor Large
Raynor was raised in Maine, graduating from ELHS in Auburn, then from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. With a BA in Psychology and Spanish with a focus in Finance, he went to work in Philadelphia with a small company building skills in Human Resources, Design & Communications, Customer Service, and Finance. More about me