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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Are You Succumbing To The Pressure Of Competition?

I have met with many business owners who have lost their way in the face of “competition” with other companies. They have taken on negative attitudes toward these businesses and their owners, especially when that business is out-performing them or has come to town and “taken” market share that they once dominated.

This negative mindset is not necessary or helpful, and if this is you, it is wise to let it go. Focusing your valuable time on what another company may or may not be doing, and being negative about their success will ultimately limit yours. This mindset will also decrease the amount of happiness you can experience in operating your own business.

In reality, all businesses in a given market sector are vying for the loyalty and patronage of a limited number of customers. However, you will not increase your reach with customers by allowing yourself to become consumed by the negative thoughts that are associated with a victim mentality.

Rather than becoming embittered by others doing business in the same sector, choose to be empowered: Control what you can – how you, your team and your company operate on a daily basis — and let the rest go.

Focus upon your own business and study how it operates. Evaluate the effectiveness of your leadership, consider the performance of your managers and the entire team, look at the quality of the products and/or services you offer, and discover where you can improve. By taking this action-oriented approach, you will fuel your progress to the next level, because your attention will be solidly focused on how you can stand out in the marketplace through becoming the very best company you can be.

It may be in your best interest to work with a qualified professional to help you discover where you can make significant improvements, and to implement the action steps necessary to be an exceptional company. The organizations I work with have found this to be a powerful approach. Greater clarity can be achieved through a third party who will work alongside you to explore your business from top to bottom with a neutral and objective point of view.

Once you have discovered where you can improve, it is vital that you and your team work together to swiftly implement the corrective solutions that have been agreed upon. If you want to lead the way in customer satisfaction and loyalty — if you what to standout in your sector and if you want to grow – necessary changes must be made and followed through to completion. Here again, an effective third party can be a strong resource in getting the job done, and done well.

Every business owner I have worked work with across the country, has found this self-focused and self-accountable approach to be not only effective, but liberating as well. They have discovered the freedom, empowerment and success that can only be possible with undistracted attention placed upon their own operations and the task of creating a great company.

As you shift your focus away from the “competition” and back to your business, you will quickly notice how much more you are able to accomplish with the extra mental energy you were previously giving away. And, once you have implemented the changes that will take your company to new heights, you will enjoy the increased happiness and success that come with these improvements.

There are only two approaches to viewing marketplace “competition”: You can become negatively focused on others and take your company away from the success you desire to experience, or you can turn your attention toward your own company and your potential success. The second is a self-disciplined approach that will position you to face the reality of how you can improve your business operations, make effective changes, and enjoy the fruits of your powerful efforts. Be wise in your choice here, seek out any professional help you might need, and get to work building the best company you can.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.