It was around 9 pm in one of the weekends; I was lying down on my bed reading a book, and then I heard these really big shouts of joy cheering and saying, “Yeah…yeah…we won, this is awesome. Yeah…we won.” Somehow I got distracted, and so I stood up to close my bedroom windows and of course to listen to what was going on. After a couple of minutes, I find out the big shouts were the sounds of my neighbors watching a soccer game on TV, and they were excited their team had won. I don’t know whether it was Manchester, Liverpool, or what, but all I know they were watching the soccer game, and their team won.
I mean, I’m not really into soccer that much. When it comes to soccer I think I am more interested in the players than the game itself. Most of these soccer players have really nice physique, especially their legs. And I can tell you right now, if you are really looking to have a really healthy and fit body, playing soccer will be one of the ways to achieve your goal.
What is really interesting to me also is that we all like games; to you it can be a soccer game, basketball game, football game, baseball game, scrabble, monopoly, chess, and so on. The point is, we all like games. I don’t really agree when people say, “Don’t play games with me, I don’t like games.” Perhaps what they should say is that “I don’t like the nature of this game, or I don’t like this kind of game, therefore I don’t want to play it.” And I can understand, there are times we need to be serious. Life is not full of rehearsal moments, therefore we must be serious sometimes especially in those moments when it’s gone, it is gone, no turning back.
Games can be fun, and that’s why we like them. And there is something about games that can make other people to want to be part of your team, even when they are not the ones playing, but yet feel like they belong to the team to the point where, when the team wins, they also feel like they have won, and when the team loses, they feel like they have lost.
I guess it is the winning and losing part is what thrills people, but truth is, everybody wants to win, or be part of the winning team. May be because winning is always associated with rewards. Winning is also a sign that we are doing things right and doing alright, we have got everything together, and we are the best.
For some reason we like to compete. We can see it everywhere in our lives. We compete with one another, we compete at schools, we compete in businesses, and you name it.
And I understand why it is important to compete, especially in businesses. Only God knows if without competition we are able to come with better products and services. Sometimes we need the friction in order to create the fire. So, competition brings that fire to want to become better, to go for quality, and basically to do our best in everything we do.
That’s why when people go to championship tournament, they usually study their competitors and opponents ahead of time to know their strengths, weaknesses, and anything really that will help them win.
This is why many teams we know, they usually hire seasonal best players that belong to other teams to play in their teams to increase their chances to win. Organizations, companies, or firms, all of them, often hire outside people; consultants and experts to help them increase their output and their chances to win and earn more profit.
It’s an obvious and wise thing to do. Can you imagine being in a team that is going to play in a world cup league without preparing ahead of time, practicing, and learning about their opponents? Unless of course your team is doing it for fun, or it is some kind of a seasonal hobby, and really do not care about winning.
Usually winning comes by lots of hard work and determination. And most of the time, it requires team work effort, consistent deliverance, management support, and off course good strategies.
Sometimes doing business is like playing a game; there is winning and losing. When you go global is like you are playing in a world cup game, you only compete with the best, whether small or big businesses, simply the best. You will meet companies who are doing the same business as you are in the global market place, and you need to make sure you out-perform them, or else you will not last that very long. And if we have to learn from the world cup game, only the best teams, who were prepared to win, and actually took actions to make it happen were the ones who won.
It’s a ‘doggy dog world’ or ‘red ocean world,’ where we have got to compete for same customers, viewers, readers, listeners, and markets, or where men are few, and women are many…hahaha…just joking.
When you want to go into business, one of the things they advise is to study the nature of your competition in the market you are going to be involved in.
Competitors are often looked as threats to your businesses instead of opportunities to be better. Therefore, it is always good to know and learn about your competitors before even starting a business. You need to learn how your competitors market and sell their products and see if this is something you would really like to do also. Things like how do they set apart their prices and differentiate their products and so on would be important to know.
Wouldn’t you also want to know if you have something new and unique to offer that nobody else is doing it? And to know whether you have a chance or not to thrive.
Sometimes the way to know it, is by studying others let’s say for instance who are in the same industry that you are in. It is essential to understand the nature of competition in your market, industry, or type of business. Also things like, who are your customers; who are you targeting here? What is your target market?
To be able to sell anything successful, you must find out who your consumers or your target audiences are; get to know their nature, behaviors, needs, and et cetera. And when I say target audiences, I mean those potential buyers or users of your products and services.
Also you need to find out why your customers will choose you over you competitors. Or you can reverse it; how can you keep them coming to you, instead of your competitors. What is it special about you, or your services, or products?
This can also work in other areas of life for instance in looking for significant other; ladies, what kind of man you would love to share your life with? List them sister friends…the age, characters, and all those things you would like your man to have…hahaha. Once you figure it out, then you come to the second step, this one concerns you. Why would you think your ideal man will prefer you over the other sister friends who also are eyeing for the same man? I know…someone will be saying, ‘when it comes to matter of the heart, this does not apply.’ Mmh…may be you are right, maybe you are not, but it may increase your luck.
But anyhow, in marketing they call it positioning strategy. With positioning strategy, you are able to influence your potential customers’ overall perceptions of you, your brand, product lines, and organization, or company in general, because you want your customers to see your uniqueness that separates you from other competitors.
You need to learn to position yourself and basically differentiate your products or services from that of your competitors and then determine which market niche to fill.
Do a research and find out who your main competitors are. How much do they impact your products, and what strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities do they represent? Consider their products, pricing, reputation, management, financial position, channels of distribution, brand awareness, selling and promotional methods, and all other factors that you feel are important. In what segments of the market do they operate? What seems to be their strategy?
Depending on what industry you are in; you can also ask yourself, what else will make a difference and help me win over my competitors? Can I do something about the prices? How can I improve the product features and services? What about technical support, or delivery services? What about the location? For instance in restaurant business, competition not only include the food quality and taste reputation, but also on location, parking, operating hours, and so on.
If you are an employee, you can ask yourself; what more skills do I need to have to be on top of the game? Do I need to go back to school, or take courses in some area that I really want to be good at. Any training or seminars available I can go to learn about my area of expertise?
Like I said before, it’s a ‘doggy dog world,’ and it all depends with the nature of the competition.