Competition Good for Small Businesses

Why you want competition

By SHARE

You need competition, and your business will do better if you have some competition. That was the point made by a successful entrepreneur from my hometown.

He told a local restaurant owner to quit worrying about the restaurant up the road. They aren't wasting time worrying about you, he told her, and you both benefit from putting people in the habit of eating out more often.

A farm-implement manufacturer bragged to him that he was the only source for the implement he makes. The entrepreneur told him he'd have more business if he would paint half of the implements red instead of the trademark green, give them a new name, rent a separate booth at the ag show, and act as if they hated each other. Of course, he didn't do that, but a couple of years later, a big national manufacturer introduced a competing product. What happened to the small manufacturer? His sales went up, not down. He sheepishly admitted that our friend was right and that the increased awareness benefited him.

So don't get worried when you have competition. Look for ways that you can benefit from the increased awareness in your pool of potential customers.

Becky McCray is a small-town entrepreneur, the co-owner of a liquor store and cattle ranch. She writes about small-business and rural issues at Small Biz Survival, based on her own successes and failures. As a consultant, she helps small businesses and small-town governments to get things funded and get things done. McCray also is a noted speaker on small-business issues. She blogs at Small Biz Survival.

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small business

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