Competition is great for business
“Good is the enemy of great”, said Jim Collins in his bestselling management classic Good to Great. And so it is with service … the number one enemy of a great customer experience, is a good customer experience.
Good creates a false sense of security, a sense that all is well with the world and that the ongoing challenges and pitfalls of a free market economy are all nicely under control. They never are.
Good is also the negative derivative of protectionism and regulation. Protectionism generates comfort and complacency that in turn causes both laziness and lethargy leading to increased vulnerability to new entrants and emerging technologies. It perpetuates mediocrity resulting in reduced profitability, diminished value of your business, and a lessening in the standards of customer service.
“The seduction of safety is always more dangerous than the illusion of uncertainty” – Robin Sharma
Whereas protectionism, comfort and complacency are the bedfellows of good, competition, challenge and discontent are the drivers of greatness.
Competition is the lifeblood of a strong and effective market; it drives performance and innovation, generates vast improvements in technology, provides greater variety of goods and services, drives discipline to reduce costs, and delivers higher quality customer experiences and subsequent increased shareholder returns. It transforms good into great.
When market conditions tighten or when new businesses or technologies enter your market space, there is a natural tendency to seek protection through government regulatory intervention. As counterintuitive as it may appear, this only worsens the situation as it fails to provide you with the necessary cattle prod to reassess, to regroup and to reinvent they way you do business; to address the very issues that made you vulnerable in the first place.
In short, your own comfort is a far greater adversary than your strongest competitor.
The key to your continuing success is to embrace competition and reaps the bountiful returns that mastering it has to offer. Competition is great for business.