Jul 11 2012

Competitive Business

Your competition is in

                          

summer slowdown mode

                             

. . . so speed up!

                                

Former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph professed that winning teams needed the attitude that when they were able to get ahead of an opponent in a game or series, was the time to “put your boot on their neck.” Merciless? Maybe. A winning formula? Maybe. (Though Willie was hardly a big-winning manager.) A philosophy with merit? Sure.

It’s always worth considering options for dealing effectively with your competitors. But –unless you’re a boxer– knockouts are rarely if ever the most effective method for your reputation and long-term growth. Many successful small businesses actually use a competitor’s summer slowdown period as a chance to collaborate and exchange supportive services.

As unlikely as it may seem on the surface, down-shifting summer and holiday gears from 3rd to 2nd can be done with less negative financial impact when good working relationships with competitors can be called into play. I’ve even heard of competitive retail firms alternating seasonal slow-down periods by arranging to cover for one another.

TURN DOWNTURNS UP!

                                      

And don’t many successful professionals do that routinely? Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and many creative and tech services will provide short-term coverage for one another in a spirit of teamwork, and to make the most of opportunities to spread out overhead costs, and keep clients/patients/customers who might otherwise stray.

“WIN-WIN” isn’t just a leadership/teamwork slogan. Any situation where bi-partisanship can enhance overall performance of competitive businesses is a win for customers as well. Bartering work hours for administrative or sales personnel, for instance, can be very effective when the business owners and managers are equally committed.

Barter can be especially beneficial

for business startups and overhauls!

 

The retail world is filled with great examples. Physically-clustered competitors can usually attract many more customers than those in isolated locations. Consider the drawing power of New York City’s Diamond and Garment Districts, San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Houston’s Riverwalk, Delaware’s Outlet Centers . . . add your own here!

The point is that while you may be looking to throw a knockout punch at your competitor, consider the opposite. A cooperative arrangement can benefit you both, and even be there to support you if your business ever goes through a slowdown period. Examine the ways you do business before turning up the heat on your competition.

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