Magazine article Success

Look Inward: Don't Wallow in Self-Doubt When Competitors Achieve Success. Strive to Be Better

Magazine article Success

Look Inward: Don't Wallow in Self-Doubt When Competitors Achieve Success. Strive to Be Better

Article excerpt

Right now, Chase for Business and I are on a 20-city tour across the U.S. talking to small-business owners about disruption. During my talk, I ask audiences a very important question: Who is your biggest competition?

The answers are fascinating.

One business owner in Michigan said he was a franchisee with a few auto body shops and a new competitor to the region was beating him on pricing. He explained the competition allowed customers to bring in their own, cheaper parts, and the service center would perform the labor. He had been stewing for months about how they were stealing his customers.

"Have you looked into doing the same thing?" I asked.

He said no and then offered an explanation: "I can't warranty work on parts I don't supply." His answer seemed reasonable, so I asked him another question: "What if you allow people to bring their own parts, you just don't warranty the work?"

His face softened. I kept talking: "Have you ever looked at your financials to see how much warranty work you are redoing? Do you know of any other franchisees that allow people to bring their own parts? Or what if you do the opposite? What if you lead with customer satisfaction and warranties?" There's always an opportunity to grow if you are willing to explore it.

Then I asked: "Have you been worrying about the competition, or have you been using the competition to make your own business better?"

I think you know the answer. I ask people who their biggest competition is to get them to realize that they can leverage their business competition to make improvements and spark interest in their company. …

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