Competition Friend Foe?

There comes a point in creative business planning (once you’ve created your vision, crafted a mission statement, determined our core values) where you have to start looking at your competitors. Who are they? What are they offering? Where are their strengths? Where are their weaknesses? What is their brand? What are people saying about them? And the question that makes me go a bit quivery – How BIG and how ESTABLISHED are they?

This point in business planning can make your drive, attitude and confidence go two ways:

1) You can veer off into reduced confidence, deflated drive and a play-small attitude and then pick your way through the research rather like an apologetic hobbit who has wandered into a wild orc party in Mordor and is frightened of getting squashed.

2) You can see each of the businesses that are already in your business landscape as a source of information, inspiration and guidance. You can walk tall through the multi-nationals with their high impact graphics, beautiful websites and established names and get a sense of excitement and drive that at some point you will be standing amongst them. Then become a detective on a mission to see the gaps, squirrel through the back routes, check out what’s missing and see where you fit in.

The difference between whether you see your competition as friend or foe, motivator or enemy is one key element as to how you then go about approaching the rest of your business; strategies you implement, actions you take and the results you create. So, before you embark on this part of your business plan, make sure you are in the right mind set to face your competition and succeed.

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