Over at Business is Personal, Mark has a great post that looks at both being the new kid on the block and being the leader of the pack. Either way, you have to act like you are taking on the a tough competitor or you will lose your advantage.
None of the existing businesses in your niche probably “deserve” to own it. That’s something everyone in business earns every day. The right to survive to try again tomorrow. The right to improve, every day. The right to dominate, if you’re good enough, every day.
If you started your business over tomorrow, with new employees, no baggage, nothing preventing you from being whatever “start of the art” is in your line of work – can you think of 3 things (or 5, or 10) that you would do differently than you’re doing now?
Why aren’t you already doing them?
Doing them now is what insulates you from those 10 wizards of whatever-you-do who move back to town with big ideas and make your business look like it’s asleep at the wheel, or worse, kick it to the curb.
No matter what your business does, it is entirely possible that the next 10 experienced professionals coming to the to town to compete with you. If you’re the equivalent of “Joe’s Local Hardware Store” in your market, in your market, tomorrow could be the day that your market’s version of Lowe’s and Home Depot announce new stores in your town.
How do you shield yourself from the new kids and their new ideas? Compete with yourself. Get the “We’ve always done it this way” out of your vocabulary.
In the Catholic world we have been fortunate that Walmart hasn’t decided to start selling our products. But that won’t save you from the Internet. So are you going to sit around and complain about Amazon or Aquinas and More “stealing” “your” business? Or are you going to get up and do something about it? I choose b.