Bad Apples: What to Do About Unprofessional Competition
5 tips for dealing with the worst of the bunch
Anyone who owns a business will eventually have to deal with competitors. And while somebody opening up a shop or e-commerce site selling similar products or services may seem like a nuisance, friendly competition is actually a good thing, as it spurs innovation and creativity. The keyword, however, is “friendly.” All too often business owners see the company down the street as an enemy, and they wage a war, frequently with unscrupulous tactics. If this is happening to you, these tips can help you get a handle on the situation and without losing your cool.
1. Don’t stoop to their level
When you were a little kid and somebody did something mean to you, what did you do? You probably did the mean thing right back to them. Most (but certainly not all) of us outgrow this mentality at some point, but the urge is always there, and a business owner can’t succumb to it. While it may result in a small victory, it will probably only be short-lived. This is why it’s always important to stay true to your core beliefs and values. The same applies to your workmanship. If, for example, a competitor frequently low-bids you to get jobs, it may be tempting just to fight fire with fire. But this could result in you having to cut corners with your work, which hurts the customer, and ultimately hurts your business.
2. Don’t take things personally
You’re not a robot, so when somebody does something to hurt your business, you may feel personally attacked. For many entrepreneurs, their company is their baby, and they can quickly get into a mama (or papa) bear mindset. And – as mentioned above – this often results in some sort of retaliation. While it may work for action heroes in sequels, doing things with a vengeance is rarely a good idea for business owners.
3. Believe in what you’re doing
If you’re running a successful business, clearly you are doing something right. Just because somebody is trying to move in on your territory doesn’t mean you have to completely change what you’re doing. In this type of situation, owners can make knee-jerk decisions. For example, if you have some new leads, instead of sticking to your tried and true process to convert them to customers, you decide to take a more aggressive approach by increasing your follow-up communications. Too many emails or phone calls, however, will almost certainly turn prospects off. It is important to stay the course and trust yourself, your team, and your products or services.
4. Take it as a compliment
If a company is doing things specifically to affect your sales, they see you as a leader in the area. While their tactics may be infuriating, with the glass-half-full way of thinking, you should be at least a little flattered. Now the ball is in your court not to get down in the trenches with them, but to figure out new ways to improve your business and still adhere to your own ethical standards.
5. Do things to stand out
Having a competitor target you may actually be a good thing, as it can help you innovate. This could be especially true if perhaps things have grown a little stale with your business. Companies should always be eager to try new things and approaches, as this shows that they are on the cutting edge. Plus, the right additions can also improve operations. For instance, swapping out old gas-guzzling machinery for clean-burning equipment can boost efficiency and productivity while cutting costs. This also makes a great statement to customers about a commitment to the environment and green initiatives.
When a competitor is threatening your business, don’t get mad or even; just make a re-commitment to your company and everything you stand for. And if you’re considering upgrading to battery-powered construction machinery, get in touch with Cratos Equipment. Call us at 954-978-3440 or fill out our online contact form.