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.



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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HAL ALPIAR Writer/Consultant 302.933.0911 TheWriterWorks.com, LLC
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Oct 13 2009


Call it whatever you want…


     Call it an incubator,  a co-op, a strategic alliance, shared platforms, networking, whatever you want . . . the bottom line is that the long-term business success effects of this sucky economy and dollar devaluation are going to be measured in terms of how much you can be both a leader AND a team player!

     The US Army teaches  that — among other things — to be a great leader requires also being a great teammate and follower. You can lead your business straight over the cliff by ignoring all other businesses around you and “going for broke,” if you choose a path of arrogance.

     The major difference  between arrogance and self-sufficiency and independence is that the first of these is an attitude. Combining forces with other businesses doesn’t render you helpless. If it does, you’ve selected the wrong business to work with, or you have an attitude problem.

     Combining forces with other businesses  should put your business — and the others — in a position of strength. It means that one business picks up where the other leaves off to the mutual benefit of all involved. Money can be involved, but it doesn’t always have to be. Ego is almost always involved; don’t let it be. Self-importance loses wars, and crushes business ventures!

     A Two-Way WIN-WIN:  I work with a bright young business that specializes in Internet marketing (website design and services, email and SEO programs, etc.). We combined website development interests because that firm’s strengths were tech-driven and mine were content-driven. We share responsibilities on work generated and produce a better, more complete product by focusing on what we do best.

     A Three-Way WIN-WIN-WIN:  A local liquor store and area deli have combined forces at a local fire department to raise money for an area charity by paying the fire department space rental and soliciting donations for admission to a “Giant Wine & Cheese Tasting Festival” that includes vendor donations of wine and cheese from a couple of dozen manufacturers and distributors who supply the two stores. Actually, if you think about it, this is like a 30-Way WIN situation.

     Can your business share  a workspace? A receptionist? A display area? A parking lot? A truck or delivery service? A database? Utilities? Cleaning services? Expertise? Research? Resources? Sales teams? Payroll services? Meeting rooms? Advertising media expenses? THINK about it!

     The next chapter in American business  will revolve around ways to economize even more than you are right now. The challenge will be to make the most of every resource, including those of neighboring or allied businesses. OPEN MINDS OPEN DOORS.   

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 Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!


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