Turn Your Competitors into Collaborators
Alicia Forest examines ways in which Competitors can become allies in business
by: Alicia Forest
Do you get discouraged or stuck in building your business because you think there's too many others to compete against in your niche? A lot of solo business owners feel this way, especially when they are first starting out. I don't want you to give up before you really get started, so I'd like you to consider thinking about your competition in a different way.
1. There's an abundance of clients and customers for everyone.
2. Your competitors are potential collaborators and strategic alliances for you.
3. The better you come to know your competitors, the more you will become aware of the uniqueness of your own message and your own offerings.
If you embrace this perspective, you'll find that those feelings of discouragement and "what's the point - I can't compete" will melt away.
1. If you come from the mindset of abundance, you won't feel discouraged by the competition. There are more than enough clients and customers for everyone. And if you are building your business online, there is essentially an unlimited audience for your work.
Think about your niche for a moment. How many of them do you need to serve to reach whatever your definition of success is? Then think about how many people there are around the globe who are your potential clients or customers. Could you really reach them all, even if you wanted to? :) Of course not.
2. There are several ways that you can collaborate and develop strategic alliances with others in your niche. You could hold a teleclass or workshop together. This is particularly helpful if you are new in business and can hook up with someone more seasoned, who already has a ready audience built (an email list). Doing this will also help you gain experience and confidence to hold them on your own.
You could write an article or a column or even a book together. For instance, if you are savvy with technology and your partner is savvy with a certain set of coaching skills, you could work together to create something unique to offer online to both your audiences.
Or you could offer a free product (a mini e-book, for example) to your strategic alliance's membership, which is an added benefit to them, while it helps to build your email list.
For more tools and resources in building strategic alliances, I highly recommend SmartMatch Alliances at http://www.coachingsuccess.com/books.html.
3. Think about those whom you consider your competitors. Are you offering similar products and/or services that they are, but to a different target market? Or turn that around: If the market is the same, are you offering different information? Of course you are, because your message, your offerings - and the way you write or speak them - is as unique as you are.
There is a certain segment of the population who can only hear your message from you. Remember that when you start feeling frustrated, defeated or just plain stuck.
Once you make this shift, you can start seeing your competitors as potential collaborators. You can work together to develop programs, products, services, etc. that will help grow both your businesses. It will also provide added benefits to both your audiences, so it's a win-win-win!
Copyright 2006 Alicia M Forest and ClientAbundance.com