Very few people involved in a service or sales business enjoy the luxury of having no competition.
And often when you’ve kind of cruised through the years with very little competition, you’ll eventually find out someone is catching enough attention from your target market to make you take notice as well.
How does one deal with the potential of losing market share or having to work harder to maintain a level of customer base that is desirable?
There are many different ways business owners react to competition. They range from hatred and outright hostility to striking up a conversation, talking shop, passing along leads and networking. It all comes down to how you view others who offer the same or similar goods/services as you. Do they pose a true threat to your livelihood or just to your ego? Or are they potential peers that you can coexist with and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with? I’ve been the recipient of treatment toward both ends of the spectrum. I’ve found that worrying and stewing over ill-treatment or someone ‘invading your turf’ (as if anyone owns the ‘turf’) is a waste of time and energy.
Here’s my take. I do agree that there is plenty of work to go around for everyone. In my main service, which is window cleaning, there are different types of customers. I’d like good ones of course, but I realize that I need to focus on how good I am or how good I present myself to those that I’d like to have as customers. Oft-quoted Jim Rohn said “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” I try not to worry about who has what account and how much he’s charging. I endeavor to move forward and stay ahead of the curve. I like to be real good at a few things: window cleaning, power washing, and roof cleaning, and leverage my time in one location by offering multiple services. And as long as I believe that other companies are running things legally and offer a good level of customer service and also don’t want to cut me down, I’m fine with being friends and networking where it is plausible.