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Management Practices

The Business Down the Street

Stacey Soble | April 3, 2015 | 9:08 AM

As Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It can be a thief in business too.

Recently, I posted the the image to the left to Instagram with the following message: “Often when working with small businesses I hear something like this… ‘Well the business down the street is charging this or promoting that, should I do that?’ Awesome businesses are created when you define your own purpose, promise, target market, set clear objectives, create a bad-ass strategy and execute like a mother. Focus on creating your own kind of awesome.”

It was one of my more liked posts. But this topic requires more time and explanation than an Instagram post. So here goes…

Yes, studying success and awesomeness is important. Learning from the greats, the ones who have consistently shown growth and profitability, the ability to create a strong culture, etc. Having an in-depth knowledge of those who have successfully gone before you, yes, all of that is awesome and important.However, when we are comparing our business to the one “down the street”, this is where I have issues…

  1. Do you know their business model?
  2. Do you know their strategy & target market?
  3. Do you know their plan?
  4. Do you know their sales?
  5. Do you know their profitability?
  6. Do you know their cost of sales?
  7. Do you know how they are funded?
  8. Do you know how long they will be in business?
  9. Do you know if their clients are happy?
  10. Do you know if their team is happy?

My guess is NO. You do not know. Therefore, how can we even begin to compare our business to theirs? What if we decided to follow a pricing strategy of a competitor that was headed down a road of putting them out of business? Or a promotional program that depleted all cash flow and angered clients and team members? OMG, can you imagine?

Before you look around one more time to see what others are doing, take that time to look within. Your own objectives, your plan, your strategy, your P&L, your business model. Start there.

Focus on creating your own kind of awesome. And connect with and learn from people who not only own businesses but grow businesses, for reals.

Love + Awesomeness, Nina

 

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