Business and Competition

Competition is not a bad thing. In fact, competition in business is a very good thing. It is the very first signal that a particular business niche is profitable. It’s the very reason most companies are still in business.

Most times when entrepreneurs analyze their competition while carrying out a feasibility study for their business plan, they get turned off by the sheer number of existing businesses. This leads some to just give up and start looking for something else to do forgetting that competition is a viability report in itself. You hear them say something like, “No, people are just too many in that business.”

When Glo entered the Nigerian telecommunications market, we had MTN (the market leader), and Zain (now airtel). These were the giants in the Telecom industry at the time and the competition among them was already very fierce. Yet Glo stormed into the market, warmed its way into the hearts of people with many brilliant marketing strategies and today, they have claimed their place among the elites and are reaping their profits. How did they do it? If you understand this, you’ll never be afraid of competition again, ever.

“The difference between the successful and non-successful person is simple. The successful person has developed the habit of doing things unsuccessful people do not do” ~ W. Steve Brown

It’s not your stature, status, age, or statistics that separate you from the crowd; it’s what you are doing that others aren’t. It’s what others don’t know that you know.

Don’t be intimidated by what other people are doing, be inspired by it.

Competition forces you to go beyond your comfort zone.

For Peak Milk, there is Cowbell.

For MTN, there is Airtel.

For Coca-Cola, there is Pepsi.

For Microsoft, there is Apple.

For Mercedes Benz, there is BMW.

For Manchester United, there is Arsenal Football Club.

You can add your own…

Having competition in a particular niche is an indication that people are already making money in that niche. You don’t want to be in a market where you are the only seller. If that market is profitable, you can bet that some other entrepreneurs will see the prospects and latch on it. If there is competition, there is money.

One thing we should take note is that Competition will either bring out the best or the worst in you.

Cowbell was the first to come up with sachet milk and of course all other milk producers had to follow suit because it pulled more market. Every Nigerian is aware of the per second billing introduced into the telecommunication market by Glo and ever since there has been various tariff plans for Nigerians to choose from. Etisalat introduced the weekly data bonus which made every young Nigerian to buy an Etisalat sim card whether they needed it or not just to be able to enjoy the weekly bonus data. When there is competition, entrepreneurs think and come up with new ideas to win over the consumer.

Take it or leave it, as soon as you start gravitating towards the fulfillment of your dreams in business, you’ll find yourself in the middle of several competitions. This is regardless of the kinds of business you do.

We all need people who are stronger than us in some areas of life to shove us off the couch of complacency, away from our comfort zone into the land of abundance in our business.

You can determine exactly who your competition is easily. Companies that offer the same or similar products as you do are competitors. But you are also in competition with companies that offer products that are substitutes of yours. Look at companies that sell accessories to your products -they may want to begin offering a complete solution. In general, it’s safe to say that anyone who sells anything that’s related to your offerings, either as an accessory or a replacement, is an actual or potential competitor.

I remembered when I started a business some years ago, my mentor in the business always mentioned how he’s earning six-digits every month in that business but I didn’t really know the practical meaning of six digits figure then. I’m always like what is he saying because my highest earning in a month then was less than #40,000 so, I didn’t bother to even ask more since my N40,000 was still far better than what I was earning where I was coming from as a Civil Servant.

But one day, he (my mentor) came to my city at Ado Ekiti and after his discussion, he showed me evidence of how’s been earning in six digits every month and I saw practical evidence of N160,000, N180,000 N200,000 and the likes. Believe me honestly, I was perplexed and dumbfounded. I almost cry knowing fully well I can practically do what he’s doing since we are in the same business and I told myself, you are jumping here and there as if everything is working well.

That day was a turning point for me. I changed my mind and strategies, in all honesty, it’s not long that I joined the league of six digits earner on monthly basis – very regular and consistent.

What I’m trying to say, is that we need people around us that will not applaud or even tolerate our mediocrity but will do everything they can to provoke us to new levels of aspiration and achievement in our business. This is more reason we need to move closer to those that are doing better than us.

Bishop T.D Jakes once said, “If you don’t have somebody around you whose reservoir of wisdom intimidates you and drives you to learn more, you’ll never experience greatness”.

Hollywood actor, Will Smith revealed one of the secrets of his steady rise in the movie industry: He said “if you are the smartest guy in your park, you need to join a new park”. If ordinary people surround you, you’ll think ordinary but if exceptional people surround you, you will become exceptional

Henry J. Heinz, the great business mogul of the ’56 varieties game’s once remarked “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success”. This is the purpose of competition to equip you to do things that are common in an uncommon way. Competition will help you add something extra to everything ordinary in your life. This is the more reason, you need to be doing everything possible to move to anywhere you can be challenged to do better than you are currently doing.

The key question is “How do you make your money? What other profit opportunities exist in your field? How then do you handle and stay ahead of your competition?

Sacrifice anything it takes to get close to those that are doing better than you do. This I’m doing and I will keep doing.

You can as well join my Online Business School by a click on this link


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