I grew up a sports fanatic. As a diehard Kentucky Basketball fan, my entire childhood revolved around playing basketball. I played travel ball, competed in skills tournaments, and averaged 17 points per game as a teen. In high school, I gave up basketball for my newfound love of running. After winning three team state championships and running a 4:24 mile, I went on to compete in college at a small division one school. My life revolved around competition – specifically beating that competition.
When my entrepreneurial career began in my mid-20s, I had a vision for being the biggest, best, and most dominate cleaning company in my market. Accompanying this vision was a desire to crush the competition along the way. I wanted to win. Sure, I wanted to be ethical and conduct our business with high moral standards, but my competition was just a roadblock to reaching my ultimate goal.
But in the last few years, I’ve been forced to rethink this mindset. Through the relationships I’ve made in the BSCAI and our Elite BSC Mastermind Group, I have come to view my competition as friends. In fact, I want to see them succeed because I care about them, their people, their families, and the industry. And as for the rest of the competition that I don’t know, I’m sure I would want the same for them if I had the chance to get to know them.
So where does this leave me (and you) now? First, we can’t in good conscience want our competition to fail, nor can we seek to undermine their success. Second, short of undermining your own company, we should help our friends in the industry (even our direct competitors). Socialists believe in a fixed pie that results in “haves” and “have nots.” But I reject this notion. If people are creating as God designed them, the pie is always growing and those who serve well will have plenty of business.
The problem with focusing too heavily on market share or competition is that it cultivates selfishness in our organization, undermining the very foundation of our industry, serving others. The solution to our competition focus is customer focus. Striving for the best possible service at a responsible price will inevitably result in a successful company (all other things being equal). So don’t seek to crush the competition. Hit home runs in service and relationships with your customers and your team. Competition will soon fade in importance and friendships will take its place. Give it a try!
In fact, why don’t you check out our BSC Mastermind Group and come hang out with 70+ business owners in the industry and see first hand how competition serves and helps one another.