I’ve heard many business owners lament about competition. They seem to believe that without competition the entire market share would belong to them alone. Well that would work if your product is something that no one can live without – such as air.
Rather, I believe that competition can bring out your best and keep you on your toes. When your competition is next door or across the street, you naturally work harder to stay close to your customer. By staying close to your customer you are able to earn their loyalty by providing them with better service and products that solve their problems.
Businesses with little or no competition become stagnant. Their customers have few alternatives to choose from and the company has no motivation to develop new products or technology. Most observers would say that the Elk River Chamber is certainly not a stagnant organization. We are constantly developing new programs to better serve our members: more networking opportunities like the “Lunch Mob”; new learning opportunities; and new promotional options on our website, newsletters and with lunch sponsorships.
The truth is, no one can be all things to all people. Competition can help you stay focused on your core competencies and your best customers. Copying exactly what your competitors are doing only serves to confuse your customers. Chambers of Commerce are uniquely positioned to provide business information, connections to other business people within the community and a unified voice for business issues. That is how we distinguish ourselves from other membership based organizations. In the long-term, competition will help build better businesses and that in turn builds a better community.
In the chamber world, we live with competition every day. Our members have choices and while we offer our members a lot, we do not supply air, therefore we must stay competitive to help you grow strong businesses.