Zero-sum games are unbelievably rare. Sporting events are zero-sum games. Two teams enter an arena. One’s going to win; one’s going to lose. Elections are zero-sum games. One candidate is going to win; one candidate is going to lose. In business, however, several competitors can do well. That’s very normal.Jeff Bezos
I chose to start this article with that quote from Bezos, because he’s right. When it comes to competition in business, you have to let go of the notion that for you to win, someone else has to lose. Most markets can have multiple players, all of whom are very successful, which I like because it keeps all players on their toes. That’s where innovation comes from. That’s what ensures that no organization is complacent. At BuyAndSellABusiness.com, we are a very product and customer focused organization, however, we see other players and appreciate what they do for the Micro M&A space. A very large sum of dollars is being spent by companies trying to attract entrepreneurs looking to buy and sell SaaS/eCommerce businesses only. Looking at this, you’d think we would be concerned that this would have a negative impact on BuyAndSellABusiness.com. On the contrary, it appears that the various marketing and all of the media coverage around buying & selling businesses has created unprecedented awareness for our space and has actually had a positive impact on our business, since we can service both digital and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and franchises.
Competition is a necessary force in business – it keeps everyone focused on innovation and growth. I’ve personally become friends with other leaders within our space, because I truly believe winning doesn’t have to be at the expense of others. It’s a big market and everyone can manage a piece of the market. Now, if you become too competitor focused and continue chasing competitors, you’re going to create negative headwinds by distracting yourself and your organizational goals, values and commitments. Success isn’t about competition, it’s about contribution. The type of contribution that makes your customer’s experience more positive and makes your team stronger.
This doesn’t mean you have to forget about others in your space and surrender your position within the market. You need to assess your strengths as a business versus competitors. Your assessment will provide the direction and clarity needed to outpace your competition, which creates safety in the market for your business. As a soft reminder, you necessarily don’t have to outwork your competition, but you do have to outlearn them.
We achieve more when we focus internally instead of on our competition. We achieve more when we collaborate. We achieve more when we learn and move first. So, have the thirst to compete, but openness to collaborate.