Most of us are more concerned about the risks our competitors pose to our businesses than about learning any lessons from them. But, believe it or not, competitors can be valuable resources. Your relationships with them don’t have to begin and end with making sure you’re on top. In fact, there are a number of other ways manufacturing professionals can benefit from keeping a close eye on other businesses in their field.
1. Competition is motivational.
When there’s no one competing for your customers, your status, and your success in your industry, it’s easy for manufacturing professionals to grow complacent. Experiencing healthy rivalry with other manufacturers can inspire innovation and keep you on their toes. And, of course, competition forces you to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness is imperative for manufacturing professionals to use their assets as selling points and work to improve on their flaws.
2. Competition is a good sign.
Competition doesn’t tend to thrive in weak industries, so the presence of competitors in your field signifies high demand for your products and services. This isn’t just a good sign for your business potential — it’s also a sign of other opportunities. A strong market means you can observe and sometimes exploit industry trends and also makes it easier for you to figure out your manufacturing niche. To be successful, you don’t have to be the best at everything. Instead, finding a unique area in which you can excel can help you differentiate your offerings from your customers’ other options and hone in on the segment of your customers whose needs you can best serve.
3. Don’t let competition distract you.
As valuable as competition can be for learning, it can also be distracting if manufacturing leaders find themselves focused on their rivalries with other manufacturers above all else. In the end, the thing that can set you apart from your competition is keeping your eyes on the prize: your customers’ needs. If you ensure your manufacturing business’s top priority is serving your clients as best as you are able, even lower prices or flashier advertising won’t be able to cut through customer loyalty.
Competition can feel like a threat — which makes sense. That’s exactly what it is! But it’s important to remember that it’s also an opportunity. If you take advantage of all the ways your competitors can help you improve your manufacturing business, you’ll have no trouble positioning yourself as the first pick in your field.