If you give business owners the chance to choose one wish, most would wish for their competitors to disappear. And on one level, this makes sense: if there’s no competition, then you’ll have a free run towards building a successful company, with no-one to get in your way. But actually, this thinking is flawed. While we tend to think of competition as an inconvenient aspect of running a business, it’s actually a crucial ingredient for pushing us towards creating the best business possible.
A company that doesn’t have enough competition around it is at risk of growing stale and failing to innovate. When you’re the only player in the game, where’s the incentive to do more than the bare minimum? There’s a much greater motivation when you know that your position as the best is at jeopardy. That drives you to be and do better tomorrow than you did today.
Competition also helps in other ways. It can give customers a sense of trust. If there’s a lot of competition, then customers have faith that the ones that stand above the rest must be good — if they weren’t, then they wouldn’t be where they are. There’s also the peace of mind of knowing that, should the business turn out to offer a low level of service, then there are other places to turn.
So instead of rejecting competition, look at embracing it. If you have any doubts about its benefits, take a look at the infographic from the University of Alabama Birmingham below.