Ok, I admit that I’m not much of a soccer/football fan, but I have found myself tuning in to the FIFA World Cup games over the last week or so. I mainly watched a few matches to figure out the rules/strategies so I would have some clue of what was going on for the US/England match. But I found myself drawn in and I’ve since watched quite a few. All of this got me thinking about how we deal with our competitors in our respective fields. Just like on the playing field, there is obvious competition but also a mutual respect for the game and players themselves. One of the most interesting aspects of this tournament is how it pits the rich nations with endless budgets and poorer nations that seem to be riding on hope and a dream. What are these teams doing to put themselves in a position to take on the big guys and can this teach us anything about how to deal with our own competition?
One of the easiest things you can do is to scout out your competition. Just as these teams are watching their opponents and taking notes, you too can benefit from a little observation. One of the most important things to keep up with are the rates of other companies in your field. What services are they offering and for how much? Who are their target demographics? Try to keep up with those companies who are similar to yours because these are the same companies your clients are getting quotes from right after they get off the phone with you. People shop around and being over/underpriced can mean the difference in a gig or unpaid vacation.
Second, work as a team. It seems that in sports, the more money you make, the less you are interested in being a team player. Teamwork cannot be bought, so use this as an advantage against the bigger companies out there. Make sure your employees know what’s going on and are up-to-date on the latest prices/promotions/etc. It can be very frustrating to call a company only to get the run-around from someone who has no idea what’s going on. Don’t let the customer know more about the customer than the employees. Many times I have researched a product or company through online sources, only to be met by a store employee who fakes his/her way through the sales pitch with obvious untruths.
Thirdly, use inexpensive and creative business tools to help your company grow. Most things in life aren’t free, but you can be cost conscious with many aspects of your company. Creative advertising can go a long way towards building your company’s presence in your market. An attractive website, a Facebook page, perhaps some well placed and thought out Google ads, can be the difference in connecting with your customers. There was a story a couple weeks back about a guy who spent several dollars on Google ads and landed himself a job. Money and influence didn’t land him that job, thinking creatively did. And the same is true for accounting. Projected Frame offers an inexpensive way to keep track of expenses but also present professional invoices and receipts from anywhere in the world. More and more, things are moving to the internet for increased availability and added security. Using Projected Fame as a creative business tool will get you ahead of the game and will get you ahead of your competitors.
And ultimately, we’re all in this together. Even though we speak about competitors and rivals, we’re all just trying to make a living with the talents and skills that we have. The best way to learn and succeed is networking with those who can potentially help you out later and those who have already established themselves. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel for every thing you do. The same problems you have with your company have been had many times before. If you can’t provide a service, suggest your competitors as an alternative. This builds trust with the customer as well as others in your field and hopefully they’ll return the favor someday.