I am not, by nature, a very competitive person. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have a smidge or sparks of competitive spirit in me–after all, I did play sports for most of my growing-up years. But, when it comes to my home business, I don’t always think in terms of identifying and annihilating the competition…
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your personality), coping with competition is part of the nature of being in business. We need to at least understand who our competition is and how it can or can’t affect our own business and work efforts. Few of us have the luxury of being the only “game in town” and not having anyone or anything to compete with. If we are in direct sales, for example, we may be competing not only with other direct sales people selling similar products, but we are also competing with department stores and other more traditional outlets. That’s a lot of competition!
Having at least a brief understanding of who and what we’re up against is important. We do need to be able to adjust and organize our home business efforts in regards to a larger marketplace and what our customers and clients may be expecting from us. This doesn’t mean we have to become overly fixated or focused on “the competition” (unless that actually helps keep you motivated and inspired!), but it does mean that we have to cope with thinking about hour our business fits into the “big picture.” Being able to cope with at least some level of competition is just one of the necessary pieces to starting and operating a small business!
If you don’t think you have a strong stomach for competition, try just focusing on what you can control and putting energy into developing a strong understanding of your market and your customer base. This way, you will be working to keep your own customers happy and not necessarily worrying about what your competitors might be up to.