Friendly Competitors
By: True North Business Consulting, LLC

Each month True North Business Consulting, LLC presents a different topic to help you in your business.

Recently, I was giving a lecture about the saturation of the marketplace with certain professions. My suggestion was to do some research to see if the market could sustain all the same profession. Are there enough people that want that service?

As much as I try to encourage business owners to branch out to under utilized locals, there are still those that want to stay local. I can understand the need to work, play and live locally. Not only is it good for the environment, but also cutting down on commute times creates less stress.

My suggestion was to reach out to the local competitors. This is important for a few reasons. Predominantly, this is a great way to network. In your profession you may have a focus that is different from your competitors. Because of this, you may want to set up a referral system. This will lead to happy clients for everyone, and a professional atmosphere that clients will appreciate. My friend likens this to when you go to a hairdresser, and the new hairdresser tells you all the things wrong that the old hairdresser did. There is no need for this, especially if the market will support everyone.

Next, competition makes you do better. If your competitor does something differently than you, then evaluate it. It may be something you can improve upon or it may be something that you feel you do better. Either way it makes you stay current, and your business significant.

One step further would be to form a group with your competitors. You could bring about local improvements; perhaps sponsor an intramural sports team. By banding together you help your profession and the community at large.

TrueNorth Business Consulting is available for educational seminars on the topics of marketing, negotiation, mediation and business law. One on one legal coaching is also available for a fee. Group discounts are available.