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Today in all industries, there are many similar businesses, paddling for survival in a sea of sameness. And sadly, a lot of them are lost in the deep sea of competition. Enterprises which faced tens of competition few years ago are having them in their thousands today.

It’s quite revealing that industries that were sheltered from significant competition now face significant competition now face growing competition. And this is just the beginning. There would be continued competitive pressure, whether we accept it or not. Joining the race may not be in the best interest of your business, no matter your level of business accomplishments.

Competition is good. It cannot be considered as something bad – it may give incentive for enterprise or organizational improvement. However, I see it as another form of ‘rat-race’ that has no finish line.

Increased competition is driven by numerous factors, which include the emergence of a global market place, new technology, particularly the Internet (that makes it easier for firms to enter new markets), taste for a better life, and the like. Economic pressures from competitors is the primary factor motivating business ventures to restructure their efforts, and sometimes prematurely, dancing to the beat played by others.

Businesses compete to see which has the greater market share, and which is more successful in a particular category. When a customer considers buying a product or service, there is a competition among all businesses offering it. They are competing on the basis of quality, price, availability, speed of delivery, service, value, amongst other things.

Business competition could become a trap. No matter how hard you try you keep having more people to slog it out with. At times, you are neck-on-neck countless number of enterprises but the business that sets itself apart in the perception of the market receives the eventual big attention!

To be ahead of the competition without fighting with them is the acme of business. Only few businesses in Africa or anywhere in the world possess that rare but attainable quality. You are not in business to compete but to complete. So, don’t allow the competition define you. Know what you are in business to do, and give it your all.

Tom Chappel, founder Tom’s of Maine, a company that is into personal care products taught, ‘Success means never letting the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about.’ There are competitions quite all right, but they shouldn’t distract you from knowing why you are in business and giving it your best shot.

Businesses should focus on ‘market creation’ and not just ‘market sharing’. While the former opens you up to untapped business opportunities, the later settles at identifying established markets and trying to figure out ways to get a piece of the market.

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