Ever feel like competition sucks? The firm down the road has “Bob” as their Partner- he is well known and all the locals love him.
The firm up the road has been around forever, and they are massive, so people trust them more…
If you feel like competition sucks then it’s time to flip that thought on its head and put a positive spin on it. It is a good thing. Still not sure?
Let me explain to you why competition is good for your accounting firm:
Competition Is Good For Customer Service
When you are working in your business it is very easy to forget about going the extra mile for clients, especially if you find client acquisition easy. Having a new competitor come along can make you up your game so that you don’t lose your clients to them. It can ensure that you have excellent customer service and secure your client’s loyalty. Having no competition can lead to complacency.
You Innovate Faster
Innovation is important, more so now than ever in the accounting world. Competition is no longer just your local accounting firm, competition is nationwide. For this reason, your accounting firm needs to be innovative and think outside the box.
When your firm is number one or the only one, innovation tends to be ignored. With technology developments, it is the maverick accountant that does things in different ways that will attract attention.
Competition Is Good For Understanding Your Strengths & Weaknesses
If you have little or no competition you tend to take for granted your strengths, and possibly are not aware of your weaknesses. Competition can help you narrow your focus and ensure that you focus solely on what you are good at. This focus may mean you or niche your accounting firm. This focus is good for your business and good for your client.
Competition Is Good For Learning
Whether you are new to running an accounting firm or have been around the block a few times, there is someone out there running a firm better than you are. If you pay attention you can learn from them. There will be things you can learn that will help you scale and grow your firm. Whether they have excellent onboarding services, have superb community building activities, or attract the best staff… they are doing something that you can learn from. Don’t underestimate how much your competition can condense your timeline when it comes to profitability, scalability, and saleability.
Competition Keeps You On Your Game
A competitive market stops you from getting complacent. If you have found yourself as the go-to firm in the past, having a new and innovative firm move into the town can be a daunting time. However, don’t hate this fact. Love it. Competition drives us to be the best we can be. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to be better every day.
This is not only good for your business but good for the industry in general.
Competition Provides An Alternative For Those You Don’t Want To Work With
I was at the ICAEW event last week and listening to Dave Gorman from Square Mile Accounting. He is very clear on who his firm serves, and is very clear on whom he doesn’t want to be a client of his.
For example, if you are a Xero user and are in his niche (Tech, Brewing or Pubs and Bars) he will probably welcome your business. If you are none of these he will probably recommend someone else. If there was no competition he wouldn’t be able to help you at all. The competition provides an alternative to those you don’t want to work with.
WINNING OVER THE COMPETITION
Whilst all of the above sounds like such positives and nice thoughts about the competition, if you research further on whether competition is good for business you will find some articles about obliterating them.
If you have competition, they should ignite a fire in your tummy and enable you to catapult the success of your firm. Whilst some firms are looking to “collaborate” and see their competition as potential partners… those who have the opposite approach/attitude also thrive, and maybe even more so.
Competition is important if you have a winning mentality. The drive you have to reach the top means that you will obliterate your competitors. This drive is a key trait of leadership.
People want to be liked and for this reason, their business stays small and they play small. But history shows that people don’t win by playing nice. Steve Jobs didn’t try to collaborate with Microsoft, he innovated faster and thought differently. Amazon didn’t try and collaborate with Borders and spend time helping them reinvent themselves. And do you really imagine Netflix cried a single tear for Blockbusters after they passed on the chance to buy them out?
“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. I have no problem with their success. I have a problem with the fact that they make really third-rate products.”
The Roman poet Lucius is famous for the quote “let them hate me, as long as they fear me”.
If you take this attitude I would suggest you tear down the motivational quotes you have on your wall with the gentle thoughts about world domination, because that isn’t the way business works in a truly free market. There are winners and there are losers. You can learn from defeat and enjoy the winning.
But don’t be complacent if you find yourself winning. This moment can be fleeting and around the corner is someone who is more innovative, more forward-thinking and more on their game than you are.
Winners cannot rest on their laurels, competition and the daily fight to be the best is your responsibility.
And being the best is good for business, your clients, and you.
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