June 13, 2016
A Girls Guide to dealing with competition
We have a brand new ‘Girls Guide’ series in our work section that we hope will help you kick some serious butt in the last 6 months of the year. (Crazy, how time flies!)
This girl’s guide is a snapshot of lessons that I have learned throughout the years on my crazy journey in the world of work and business. The first area I would like to tackle with you is how to deal with competition.
Whether you are an employee or business owner you will always have competition. This could be a colleague who is on the same pay grade or does the same job as you, or for entrepreneurs you could have just launched a new business and there could be hundreds or even thousands of other businesses that offer the same product or service as you.
Standing out from the crowd is already a tough task to tackle but what about the emotional effects of dealing with competition? How do you stay sane and motivated?
Come off Social Media!
I hate to sound so dramatic but social media really is the devil! We all do it-you log on to Facebook and you come across a certain persons feed and start to scroll down their feed and photo albums where they show off their perfect life. Then, you may proceed to torture yourself even more and move onto Instagram where you scroll through the hundreds of pictures of a competitors amazing product or service. Or you could start to view the page of a friend who has your dream job where every post is them with someone very important, on an exotic holiday or eating at a Michelin star restaurant. Then to really push the knife in further you notice they have 4,000 followers and you only have 500.
The worst thing you can do is troll people or your competitors on social media because it will make you feel insecure and you will inevitably start to compare yourself. I would avoid using social media other than to post onto your personal or business page- after you have done so log out right away.
Try your best to remember that people only post the good things on social media and it is not the real world. People and businesses are able to manipulate and create an illusion of success and greatness. If you are an entrepreneur then treat social media as a way to connect with your clients and consumers and not a way to brag or tell people how amazing you are. If you are a professional in whatever industry, focus on producing content that makes you an expert and up to date on what is happening in your industry and try your best to be original and not follow everyone with their 500 million selfies.
The number of followers a person or business has does not indicate how successful or influential they are. Ask yourself, who is following you? If the key influencers and door openers in your industry are following you and you have 200 followers this places you in a better position than someone who has 1000 random followers who cannot advance or take their career to the next level!
One last tip on social media: Do not follow your competition. Ever. Just don’t do it.
What can you learn from them?
It is important to be aware of who your competition are, especially if you are starting a business because researching them is a key part of your business plan. When you research your competition rather than get jealous, resentful or self-doubtful.
Look at what can you can learn from your competition.
What do they do differently?
What can you offer their client base that they can’t?
If you are a professional, the same applies:
What does your colleague do that is different to you?
How can you implement some of their traits and processes to what you do?
What can you offer your employer that they cannot?
Celebrate your differences and move on.
Stay in your lane
To be successful in anything you do in life, you have to be focused on your goals and what you want to achieve. There is so much time wasted on watching what other people are doing. Stay in your own lane and focus on your own race. If you give into distractions, you are delaying your success and your work or business will start to suffer as a result. While you are busy watching what others are doing, they are busy taking over your industry and not thinking about you!
Accept this as a way of life
Everything has pretty much been invented and very rarely will anyone bring anything totally new to the market. If we look at the tech industry there is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Periscope-they all have their own niche in the same sector. It is the way of life. When Facebook started it was inevitable that they would inspire people to start competitive businesses. We can look at the food business with Nandos and KFC, who both sell chicken- nothing special but there are enough customers to go around.
When I look at my sector which caters to women. How foolish would I be to think that my business can solely cater to all of the 32.2 million women in the UK? There are over 60 million people living in the UK, so there are plenty of customers to go around. Everyone will like something different and your job is to really hone in on your clientele and keep them happy so that they remain loyal to you.
If you are a professional in the workplace who has ambitions to rise to the top of the corporate ladder then the reality is you have to accept that there are very few places and lots of people who want them- it will always be like this no matter where you work.
Use it as motivation
If you feel your competition are doing better than you and are seriously kicking butt in your industry then use their success as motivation. This could fuel the fire inside of you to really step your game up in your industry. Their success could inspire you to achieve your full potential and for you to see that greatness is achievable.
Founder, Girls Talk London
Follow Vanessa on @vanessasanyauke