September 17, 2014  
 
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The Benefits of Competition

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Competition in the world of business is commonly viewed in a negative light, but doesn't have to be the case. Competition can be a good thing for you, your competitor and particularly your customer. What are the ways in which competitors can benefit you?

Competition may seem threatening at times, but the fact is that it comes with numerous benefits. This article discusses some of the benefits that competitors can offer to your business.

They prevent you from becoming too comfortable and lazy in your business operations

It's easy to feel relaxed and confident in your business if you offer a unique product that is in demand. There is no pressure to improve yourself or the product. When a company comes along that offers similar and better products than yours, you will then feel pressure to perform. To retain your customers, you will have to constantly improve your product and your standards of customer service. You have to work harder to convince your customer to stay with you.

They motivate you to be more creative

When you realize that you are not the only one selling a certain product, the wise thing to do is to develop more products. Let your imagination go wild! Think of unique concepts that will design new products or improve your existing products. Come up with new color schemes, a new line of accessories, new styles and sizes. Don't try to imitate what your competitors are doing. Do something unique and different. Express your individual creativity.

They force you to get out of your comfort zone

Perhaps you have a huge customer base and have not invested much in the promotion of your company. But the focus is gradually beginning to shift from you. This means you have to work harder in order to remain visible. You could advertise some special promotions or sales, make donations to a worthy cause, or get more engaged with your local community. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, you will need to stick in your customers' minds. Put your company and yourself out there as much as you can. Be memorable, be noticeable.

They compel you to charge reasonable prices

This sounds negative, but actually it is not. Consumers are always looking for good value for their money. While earning lots of money from your products is great, being fair to your customers will make them want to come back again. No one likes to feel ripped off or over charged. You may have to compare different materials and suppliers so as to keep your prices low, but your customers will show their appreciation by coming again and again.

Joint Ventures

These can be very profitable for both parties, if done right. Perhaps your competitor and you could do some cross-promotion or offer discounts to the others' customers. Promote your competitor's shoes and scarves, and they in turn promote your purses. If you both have newsletters, swap ads. Think of how you could work together to gain yourselves, as well as to benefit your customers. Promote each other, rather than pulling each other down.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.


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