Competitors or Business Allies – Your Choice!

Can competing businesses co-exist? My answer is a definite YES! It is all how you view “competition”. When you have a strong unique selling proposition (USP) or one thing that makes you rock in your industry, why be so concerned with what your competition is doing? It may be me and my business practices but I generally keep my eyes forward, focused on my own next move so my business can grow. Yes, I do take a look at what other marketing companies are doing but not for the reasons you think.

How Do I View Competition?
I view it as a business opportunity, not as a rival. As a smaller, marketing startup, “The Marketing Girl” hasn’t even registered on the big marketing firms’ radars yet. However, a few of them have tried to partner with me or recruit me but I am happy with my business life. I am flattered but not going to jump ship anytime soon.

As for the marketing businesses who focus on the same target market as I do, I look at the business opportunity with two things in mind – my USP and how does it match up with the client’s needs. I am a firm believer that when you are positioned right in the market with a strong understanding of your brand and USP, you have no competition because you have something that no one else can offer. I look at what the client needs and if I don’t have it in my bag of tricks, I assess how far off I am in meeting their needs. I keep in my mind where my strengths and weaknesses are as I know I will not be able meet every future client’s needs 100% so if I see a huge gap in what I can offer the client, I know the client is not a fit for me. However, if it is a smaller gap that I could fill with a smart alliance, a business opportunity comes into play.

Once I have assessed the gap in my own service offerings, I look at other marketing firms around me and see how we can partner together to give the client exactly what they need. Of course there are logistics to work out but most often in the end, I have a new business alliance and a happy customer. The new business alliance has helped me in a number of ways and created a ripple effect for my business:

  • Wow clients and convert them into advocates. By pooling resources with another business, I have been able to meet and exceed a client’s needs so in that client’s mind, I am awesome. When a client thinks I am awesome, they not only become a repeat client but they also become an indirect sales person. They talk to their colleagues about their great marketing and in turn, become a warm referral or a new client to me.
  • Expand my service offerings. I have been able to expand my service offerings by filling a gap I previously identified. This makes me even more valuable for my clients because I can service them in more ways.
  • Expand my client prospect list. The business I allied with has clients who may have gaps in their service offerings that I may be able to fill. Who else would my new business ally refer these clients to? Me!
  • ?

  • Reduce any perceived competition. By turning my potential “competition” into an ally, I have empowered my business and their business while reducing the number of players in the market.

What great business opportunities have you completed? How do you view competition?

Photo credit: betsyweber / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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