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How to Snuff Out the Competition Without Leaving a Mark

Does the competition drive you crazy?

Are they relentless about taking your clients away?

Are customer loyalties becoming a thing of the past?

In our ever changing world, it seems securing business these days comes down to, who will provide the most service at the lowest possible price.

To add insult to injury your previous customers have taken on a new militant attitude about obtaining your services.

They now believe they have a license to set the pricing, dangle it over your head and threaten to call someone cheaper if you will not meet their demands.

It seems the rules have changed and if we are not willing to make the adjustment our businesses will continue to feel the impact from the competition. So today's article is:

How to snuff out the competition without leaving a mark.

If the title to this article seems a bit brutal, harsh or to blunt for your taste buds, then take a moment and reflect how your business has been affected by your competition. How that before they came along your were not being hounded about your prices.

Think about how every year several more new businesses come from out of nowhere. They don't advertise, won't get the proper licensing, refuse to be properly insured and have shamelessly solicited your customers. I can assure you that the competition, given half a chance, would not think twice about putting you out of business if they knew how.

A burr in your britches? I'm thinking, "OH YEAH!"

So how can you snuff out your competition without leaving a mark?

To begin you must first realize that all successful businesses have always played by a set of unchanging rules.

1. Be #1.
2. Never reveal your business strategies or tactics.
3. Look for business that no one is doing or is willing to do.
4. Give more than what the customer is expecting.
5. Follow-up

1. Be #1.
So what do I mean by being #1? It means you never rest on your laurels. Remember you are only as good as your last transaction. You must always excel at honing your skills, always increasing your knowledge base and developing long term customer relationships. This attitude sets you head and shoulders above the competition.

2. Never reveal your business strategies or tactics.
I don't care how well you know a fellow business person or how long you have known them. Always remember what P.T. Barnum said,

"Some men have a foolish habit of telling their business secrets. If they make money they like to tell their neighbors how it was done. Nothing is gained by this, and oftentimes much is lost. Say nothing about your profits, your hopes, your expectations, your intentions. And this should apply to letters as well as to conversations. Goethe makes Mephistopheles say: "Never write a letter nor destroy one." Business men must write letters, but they should be careful what they put in them. If you are losing money, be specially cautious and not tell of it, or you will lose your reputation." - P.T. Barnum

3. Look for business that no one is doing or is willing to do.
Here is where your competition will strike out. They are always looking for what everyone else is doing so they can copy it and make a fast buck. If it is too detailed or involved there is a greater chance of you securing that niche market and exploiting it for greater profits.

4. Give more than what the customer is expecting.
Most of the competition will only do just enough to get the job. The smart business person goes beyond what was stated to do. You are looking out for your client's best interest. This initiative builds additional value into your service. It also shows your customer that you value them as a client and not just a transaction.

5. Follow-up
This area is where all businesses fail the most. Simple gratitude goes a long way. When someone took the time to call you or send you a "thank you" note for doing business with them, you appreciated the extra effort. So why not do the same for your clients.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the business rules let's focus on:

How to snuff out the competition without leaving a mark.

Now before you ask, "Is it legitimate or easy to do?" I can assure you that what I show you will prove to not only be legitimate and easy to do, but can be implemented before your next business day.

Will you need some help getting started? As a matter of fact the very people you employ will be the ones that will assist you and will be the driving force in securing more business.

1. You will begin having 3 staff meetings a week with your employees. You must rouse the men and women of your employ to strive for perfection in their work and tell them they will be compensated for their achievements.

2. You must set daily, weekly and monthly goals for them to achieve. A simple daily goal is to make contact with 5 different customers you have not served. This can be done by phone or in person. By doing this the public is beginning to learn of your company in a personal way but the competition has no idea what you are doing.

3. You want to institute some good healthy in-house competition between the employees. It's great for moral, builds a bond of loyalty to your company and keeps those in your ranks striving to out do each other by meeting your goals.

4. Encourage your employees to speak up and let you know what's bugging them. Their opinions are usually valid and you should take note of what is being said. Do this in your staff meetings. Then invite others to respond. It is better to get a problem out in the open to prevent harbored and hurt feelings.

5. Let's also not forget to reward them for their efforts. No matter the progress they make, you want your employees to be glad they work for you. The best way to reward an employee is with a monetary bonus. People appreciate getting extra money for doing a good job.

6. You must give your top producers special recognition, because they are the ones setting the standard. They are building your company and assisting you to become more of an anchor in your community.

I'm sure that right about now you are wondering what happened to:

How to snuff out the competition without leaving a mark.

You might even be thinking, "Why are we talking about employees and not concentrating on who is hurting my business?"

Before you setout to undermine your competition's efforts, you must have firsthand knowledge of what your employees know and correct it or improve on it. Building them up to be stronger becomes another asset to your company. Their state of mind and how they view your company could also benefit your business or cost you business.

A well oiled machine runs more efficiently when all of it's internal parts are constantly checked to determine if they are working properly. When a company wants to be a better producer of goods and services and snuff out the competition without leaving a mark, it is imperative that all who are involved in the process are at the top of their game.

For this to happen it is up to the owner or manager of that business to motivate their staff to become a team. A company that has a staff working as a team will become stronger, vibrant and harder to defeat. In turn the staff will come up with new and fresh ideas that can produce more revenue and bring in more clients.

While your competition is trying to make a fast buck you will be busy building your army that will snuff out the competition without leaving a mark. Your competition will simply not know what hit them.

Copyright 2005 Woody Quiñones &

About the Author: Woody Quiñones is the owner of Hardee Lock & Key and, a promotional products website. He is also a Specialty Advertising Dealer and New Dealer Sponsor with Kaeser & Blair Inc. You can go to his website anytime to view his product line, apply to become a dealer or stop by his forums to gather ideas about promoting your business.

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