My family has developed a weird tradition recently.
We like to sit down together and watch the TV series Shark Tank. The stories are inspiring and courageous. It renews my hope that America is still alive and well.
On a recent episode, an 11-year old boy shared his vision of a business he operates out of his home. While watching this with my kids, I could see their curiosity pique.
Let’s just say I’ve been a part of many lemonade stands in my day. We’ve even gone door to door in our neighborhood selling things my daughter made in order to raise money for the local animal shelter.
This episode of Shark Tank took an interesting turn. The “sharks” began to give advice to the 11 year old on why and how to squash the competition. I’m not entirely convinced that was the best business advice they could have offered.
Don’t get me wrong, I all for a competitive landscape, but there are other ways to make your competition irrelevant.
1. Choose to Out-Teach the Competition
I am a big proponent of this. Whether you have a local, small business or you are a portable online business owner, the best way to grow an audience, build authority, and gain trust, is by out-teaching your competition.
You can out-teach your competition by:
- Writing blog posts that answer all the frequently asked questions people have in your niche. I use a simple tool called the Keyword Researcher to do this. (I never run out of ideas to write about with this tool.)
- Creating videos that show others how to use your products
- Provide advice via a weekly podcast show
- Educate them any way you can through audio, video, and text (become the biggest resource in your niche).
I think out-teaching your competition is one of the best strategies out there. Become the best resource for people and they will keep coming back to you.
2. Embrace the Competition with an Abundance Mindset
This is probably the biggest struggle that we all face. It is not a new struggle at all. Do you remember the movie Miracle on 34th Street?
The real Santa Claus gets chosen as one of the “Store Santas.” As the kids begin to share what they want for Christmas, Santa tells the parents they can find the toy cheaper at another store.
While initially this makes the store manager mad, an interesting thing begins to happen. People begin to value and trust the store because they have proven their not just out to make a buck. This builds instant customer loyalty.
The other stores began to follow suit and now all of them are freely recommending other stores when their price is not the cheapest.
Having a limited mindset can stunt the growth in your business. When we have a limited mindset we often:
- Hold back from delivering our best stuff
- Come across as greedy and as only interested in the almighty dollar
- limit the growth of strategic relationships that can help build our business
Choose today to have an abundance mindset. When you give, just know it will be returned to you in some way, shape, or form.
3. Play a Different Game All-Together
This is another one of my favorite strategies. Instead of trying to talk ill and attack the competition on why their product is not as good as yours, choose instead to play a different game.
Many have referred to this as the Blue Ocean Strategy. A Red Ocean Strategy is described as living in the bloody, cut-throat waters of your competition. The Blue Ocean Strategy is about creating your own market where there is a deficit.
One powerful example is the rise in popularity of Cirque du Soleil. They looked at where the circus was missing the mark and made an entirely different market for their product.
Another example is the emphasis that Zappos puts into their customer service. It’s what they are known for. Again they saw an area of deficit that their competitors were missing entirely. Where is your competition missing the mark?
Question: In what ways have you made your competition irrelevant?