Working with Your Competition, by BNI Staff.
Competition is healthy for your business. It helps you develop new services and products, keeps you honest with your quality and pricing, and gives you naturally ingrained goals (to become number one in your field, of course!).
You may be so used to working against your competition that the idea of working with your competition to help you both grow your businesses seems ridiculous. “Why would I help them?!” you may be asking.
Depending on the needs of a project, you may find that working with your competition can not only provide greater value to your client, but also help you look at other sides of a problem that you may not have otherwise considered.
As you work to develop a strong relationship with your competition, you can improve the overall landscape of your industry and find ways to better yourself and your business.
As you think about your competition, take a moment to write down answers to the below questions.
What is something your competition does better than you do?
What are questions you have for your competition, or things you believe you could learn from them?
What is something you do better than your competition?
And finally, be honest, who has a more powerful place in your industry – you, or your competition? What can you do to either keep your upper hand, or move into a more powerful position?
It is important that as you evaluate your business as it compares to your competition, you set goals that correspond. Perhaps your direct competitor has branched into a new service that you’d like to learn more about. Your goal shouldn’t be to perfect this service, but use your relationship with your competitor to start learning the basics.
As for your competition coming to you for advice? Teaching peers always accomplishes more than snubbing them just because they are your competitor. Helping develop someone else can help you develop goodwill in your industry, and may allow them to give you fresh perspective on something you have been doing for years.
What are your tactics for building a relationship with your competition? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.