By David Suzuki
HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO WONDER why all new car dealers are located right next to each other? How about restaurants, or even the concept of a shopping mall? Who in their right mind would set up shop right next to their competition, voluntarily entering into a fierce business battle—and pay top dollar for it?
While it sounds crazy, the reality of the matter is that competition is good. Yes, good! This is how we establish commerce, an industry, a central meeting place, and a vibrant flow of consumers giving us the opportunity to educate them on what makes us viable individual companies. This allows consumers the opportunity to better discern whether or not we are the right match for them. In short, competition is the “marketplace” that our society is built upon.
Competition defines our world
The very basic concept of competition has been practiced and proven effective from the beginning of time. It is how every town, city, state and country have come into existence. It is what makes New York City, London and any other major metropolitan areas what it is. Without competition, our society would not exist. Whether it be competition for land, military control, a championship title or success in business, we are instinctively driven by competition from the day that we are born. Competition actually defines who we are and the environment we live in; it is in fact measurement and incentive. This applies to the grades that we receive as school children, the final score of a sports match, the credentials on a resume, and the level of success that we achieve in business.
This is all makes perfect sense and is completely logical, so why is it that we think of competition as the enemy, and frequently set our ambitions on the shallow sites of “beating” the competition? Is that honestly the reason you started your business? Or was your ambition much more than this, heartfelt and sincere? You are probably like most entrepreneurs, and believe that you have something to offer that is unique, one of a kind, different and better than what is currently available. For this reason, you believe that you have a chance of succeeding in finding a clientele that appreciates your uniqueness. And you will, as long as you never forget why you began your journey
Who are you?
It is important to understand who your competition is and how they function. Even more importantly, however, you must understand why and how you are unique. Range Rover, Jeep and Toyota are three of many car manufacturers that offer an SUV. All three are significantly different from one another, have a unique clientele and are very successful. More often than not, their dealerships are located within a block of each other.
Easy enough, but how do we go about establishing or recapturing our uniqueness? Start with this simple question: Why did you start your business? The simple reason, in one sentence, is what everything must be built upon. It must resonate from your person, your environment, your team and your marketing. This is how you communicate who you are, what you represent and what you believe in. This, and only this, is what will ultimately connect you with your unique consumers, and fuel a perpetual energy that will build your future. You must have a website, and you must periodically send out electronic newsletters to your clients and potential clients. These tools are extensions of communicating your business identity. However, they are a waste of effort and dollars unless you sincerely understand your true purpose and what you represent.
Who is your customer?
Remember that regardless of the product or service, the entire market does not belong to one supplier—and nor should it! Every person is unique, and therefore what they buy and whom they select to do their business with are also unique. This is the beauty of a free market and a free world—choice. The point is that you should not be frustrated or distracted with what your “competition” is doing, but rather keep your focus on your objectives and identity. Be definitive in communicating what you believe in, and let the consumer make their own comparisons and decisions regarding what is right for them. Those who broadly attempt to appeal to all ultimately end up appealing to none. Remember that every business will have their customer, and every customer is not yours! Finding the right match for you is your challenge.
What about competition amongst your own team? This is healthy and natural. Some of the largest and fastest growing companies in the world have reached their level of success through positive internal competition. The best sports teams in the world have achieved their mastery through internal competition. Strong internal competition ultimately expedites positive growth, creating an upward vacuum effect to success. This explains why children with older siblings excel more rapidly, why immigrants from challenged countries do extremely well when transplanted into a developed, productive country, and why Olympic Gold Medal winners often come from a very strong, competitive team that challenged the athlete to push their limits, propelling them forward to victory. Competition is the catalyst of growth. This stimulus is needed internally and externally.
Growth in failure?
While we intuitively have our sites focused on winning, experts agree that individuals undergo a significantly higher rate of growth through loss or failure than success. With this in mind, are loss and failure really what they seem? This depends on your perception. Loss and failure are essentially a measurement and a clear indication that a model shift is necessary. Man’s greatest achievements have been realized via failure; however, failure to realize that a change is necessary after failure is ignorance. There is absolutely no growth in ignorance.
History has witnessed such ignorance in government bureaucracy that can become so thick that it takes choices away from its citizens. This model has failed time and time again, yet often no change is made, as if the expectation is that magically the outcome will be different. Einstein defined this concept as insanity.
What about success then? Is there anything learned when you do achieve your objective? Certainly! As soon as the euphoria of the success has subsided, review your strategy, preparation and execution, then repeat it. Once you find a system that works, or parts of the system that work, keep them! Make adjustments on the non-working parts of the model until you reach a consistent level of success. Refinement and perfection of your “model” is like a marriage, in that it needs to be championed consistently, as there is always something that can be improved upon or made to function better.
There is no equity in spending your energy critiquing a competitor, while there is infinite value in defining who you are and what you represent. Your competitors are not your enemies, they are your peers. Together, you create a company, an industry and a demand. To a certain degree, you are partners, sparking each other’s interest and coaching one another going forward. Remember that your ambitions are much, much bigger than simply “beating” your competition. You are going to change the world!
David Suzuki, president of Bio-Therapeutic, Inc., has been an active licensed member of the esthetics industry for more than 18 years. He is an authority on technology and regulatory issues, including FDA submission and acquisition. Suzuki serves as an advisor to institutions and state boards, writes for numerous industry publications and journals and conducts educational seminars and classes. \
Bio-Therapeutic’s Award Winning bt-GEAR™ Line
Bio-Therapeutics’ bt-GEAR™ line is the most comprehensive line of hand held technology available today. This multi award winning line provides a variety of analysis and services to fit any type of business environment and skin care need. The bt-vision™ magnification system offers hands free magnification and the bt-analyze™ delivers mobile moisture analysis with the press of a button, allowing easy product and service recommendations. The bt-micro™ ultrasonic exfoliation and micro current product infusion offers gentle and efficacious exfoliation and powerful product infusion for all skin types. The bt-nano™ mini micro current device is the ultimate handheld tool that delivers big results. Five preprogrammed modes provide services that range from lifting, to acne services, and from hand treatments to specific Iontophoresis. The bt-GEAR™ line is affordable and is designed for all, from new aestheticians to multi room spas and clinics.