Your biggest competitor is not who you think


Understand who your competitors are.

Make sure your offering is better than theirs.

Make sure your service is better than theirs.

This is all worthy advice but sometimes I think we spend so much time analysing our competition that we miss a really important fact: more often than not, our biggest competition is not other businesses, it’s the minds of our clients.

For example when it comes to web design, our biggest competition (at Swish) doesn’t necessarily come from other web designers, it comes from our clients putting web design in the ‘too hard basket’. They may know their website needs an overhaul, but the thought of pulling together all the information needed for that overhaul is overwhelming – so the job gets shelved again and again. It appears our challenge is not just to provide a better offering and service than our competitors, it is also to make things as easy as possible for our clients when they are at the contemplation stage.

It’s the same if your website has a shopping cart. Your ‘competition’ may actually be your customer’s dislike of filling in forms or having to go downstairs and grab their credit card. So what can you do to surmount this? Well I know I buy a stupid amount of books from Amazon because they have one-click purchasing. If I had to go through a longer process than that every time I wanted to buy a book, I definitely wouldn’t have as much reading material stocked up on my Kindle as I do now!

So tell me …

Is your company’s biggest competition is the “too hard basket”? If so what things can you do to make things easier for your ‘prospects’ to turn them into ‘clients’? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  

3 thoughts on “Your biggest competitor is not who you think”

  1. Well said Kelly!

    I guess the issue is that the pain has to be so strong for the client to be willing to channel resources (man hours and money) into relieving that pain.

    Many people in the contemplation stage may not be experiencing high levels of pain yet.

    The challenge for businesses is to be there when the pain is overwhelming. To be the choice that they turn to when they need that pain relieved, when it jumps out of the ‘too hard basket’ and into the ‘must do basket’.


  2. Great post Kelly – thanks for sharing!

    It is hard to remember to see your business from your customers point of view but it is the most important thing you can do.

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