It's coming up to the time of year for the CRUFTS competition. The worlds largest dog show.
"Crufts is centred on a championship conformation show for dogs but also includes a large trade show of mainly dog-related goods and services and competitions in dog agility, obedience, flyball and heelwork to music." ~ View the official site here.
When it comes to competition, and especially in business, it can be a pretty dog-eat-dog world. With so many companies now able to offer the same services, the only thing some of them can compete on is price. The problem with this is undercutting your competitors can often mean undercutting yourself and ending up with low profit margins.
Here at Toolkit Websites, we see competition as a good and healthy thing. We offer web design services for small to medium sized businesses, we have the knowledge to deliver the right solution at the right cost. With approval from the Trading Standards' Buy With Confidence scheme, we've been awarded for our exceptional business conduct and commitment to customer care. We know where our strengths lie, and it's in those strengths that we exceed.
When it comes to competition, we believe that you shouldn't undercut yourself, (or your competitors.) You should know your worth, and those that want a brilliant service will be inclined to spend the money necessary for the quality they expect. The saying "you get what your pay for" is true for most industries.
Upon asking the management team at Toolkit Headquarters about their view on competition within and outside of the business, we accumulated the following answers:
Why do we think competition is healthy for a business?It keeps you on your toes and forces improvement in anything and everything you do. When you're offering a service, clients and potential clients will compare your services to those of your competitors. Whether it's Messi against Ronaldo, or Samsung against Apple, competition brings out the best even in well-known businesses, because no one wants to be second place.
What types of competition are there?Competition comes in many forms.
There is external competition from other companies who offer the same service as you, or a similar service.
There is internal competition within the company, where employees can be in direct competition with each other in terms of performance.
Competition can be great for morale and a businesses general performance.
Examples of external competition:
As mentioned above, direct competitors who have a similar service offering, it's important to at least match them but having something that they can't offer is nearly always a game changer. Imagine looking at the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5, wouldn't you rather the one with Finger Print recognition? People will always choose the one that is more advanced or offers something extra.
Nowadays, your competition doesn't have to be within your locality. With the world wide web at peoples fingertips, web design companies can be found up and down the country, Our external competition can come from a number of sources, and it's our job to make sure that what we do stands out from the crowd and fulfils the needs of our target market.
Examples of internal competition:Commission based roles are a fantastic way to generate sales and bring in more business for a company however it doesn't just have to be financial targets. KPI's can be as simple as who is on the phone the most to customers, supporting them. Alternatively it could be who makes the most amount of outbound support calls which encourages over the top customer services.
Take something as simple as an 'employee of the week' award, it's a great thing to achieve so staff will work as hard as they can for the chance to be considered.
By having targets set, a person can track themselves against them, making them want to achieve a higher standard than they have before as well as those of their colleagues.
The last word...
At the end of the day, having competition in a business promotes change, constant improvement and means that a business never settles into a routine of "churning out" the same thing year in and year out. Having targets to reach, records to smash, competitors to blow out of the water... it's what being in business is all about.
In true CRUFTS style, we leave you with a video of a dog, who offers a service most dogs do not. Salsa dancing!