[Twitter tip] “Stop comparing yourself to your competitors. Measure & look to expand YOUR personal best.”
Last week my above tweet generated quite a few responses from my community all of whom agreed that this statement was an important reminder to stop assessing their business’s success by using their competitors’ performance as a benchmark.
For women in business, comparing our businesses to our competitors is something that I’m sure we’ve all done at one time or another. Competitor comparison as part of your market research during your business planning phase is often suggested as it allows you to identify how you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
However, if you find that you’re constantly comparing yourself to your competitors by regularly visiting their website, their Facebook Business Page or blog, scanning their newsletters, reading their Twitter posts, and watching the conversation they’re having with their community etc with a frame of mind of competing and trying to ‘out-do’ them, you’ll find this will become soul destroying and can cripple your business’s growth.
Don’t fall victim to the ‘competitor comparison trap’ – instead measure yourself against these 5 key components that relate to YOU to enable YOU to continually expand YOUR personal best.
Component 1: Your Knowledge
‘Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.’
Jim Rohn’s statement is certainly appropriate.
Ongoing expansion of your knowledge and expertise is extremely important for all ambitious entrepreneurs.
Many industries continue to experience changes and advancement and to ensure your skills, knowledge and expertise are always at the forefront of these changes it’s important to continue your knowledge growth.
- Do you schedule professional development opportunities into your business calendar?
- Are you part of a mastermind group of like-minded business owners who can support you?
- Do you have a mentor with whom you meet regularly – someone who continues to challenge, stretch and encourage you to expand, grow and evolve?
Component 2: Your Self-Belief
It saddens me when I see amazing, talented women business owners who have so much to offer, block their business’s growth because of unhelpful habits and barriers, which is often because of a lack of belief in themselves and what they have to offer.
The words of one of my business mentors echo loudly for me when she says “Who you are is reflected in your business results, daily.”
So what do your business results reflect about you?
- Do you recognise the strengths and talents you offer your clients and the value you bring, or do you constantly find yourself making excuses such as “Oh it’s nothing, anyone can do that”.
- Do you have amazing goals for your business; however things just keep getting in the way, preventing you from ever achieving what it is that you really want?
- Do you have bold money goals that you’re so committed to achieving, however that inner voice is constantly in the background raising an element of doubt that you’ll ever really achieve it?
Component 3: Your Reputation (Brand)
Your reputation and your brand are the lifeblood of your business and should therefore be managed with the utmost of care and precision.
Everything you do, write and say reflects on you and your brand. Do it inappropriately and unprofessionally – you may as well give out the contact details of your competitors right now as that’s where your prospects will end up. [Would you invest in someone who was acting in poor taste?]
- Have you got a strong brand message that you are regularly portraying through all your communications whether it be in print, video or in person?
- Are you communicating your brand in a consistent and professional way that powerfully connects with prospects and clients?
- Are you constantly looking for ways that you can continue to bring your brand message out to a larger audience? And, are you regularly communicating your brand with your existing community through blogs, articles or video posts?
Component 4: Your Relationships
It’s a well-known fact. People recommend and do business with people they know, like, and trust – so how do you measure up on the likeability scale?
Building and nurturing your relationships with your database, your Twitter followers, your Facebook friends, your Linkedin connections etc should be an important part of your business-building endeavours and something you should continue to monitor on a daily basis.
- Are you taking regular action that results in people joining your tribe and community?
- Are you adopting an approach of regularly sharing valuable information with your community with no expectations in return?
- When interacting and connecting with your community – how are you showing up? Are you doing so in a way that is positive and inspiring to ensure you continue to strengthen your relationships?
Component 5: Your Marketing & Sales Skills
While it’s important to maintain your level of excellence in what you do and offer to your clients, another crucial area that you need to become skilled at is in your marketing and sales abilities.
Even if you offer the best products and/or services that can support your clients in achieving results that are beyond their wildest dreams, if no-one knows about you, or you struggle in promoting and selling your products and services, you’ll find it very difficult to generate a level of income that will sustain your business’s growth.
- Do you have a solid marketing plan in place that schedules solid marketing strategies and action taking on a daily basis? And, does your marketing plan include both offline (face-to-face) and online (social media) networking?
- Does your website copy and your conversation continue to market your offerings in a way that allows your prospects to understand the value they will receive when they invest in you?
- Do you feel comfortable when having sales conversations with your prospects?
- Have you got a solid process in place to help you respond to that dreaded question “So, what do you charge?” so that you don’t blow an amazing opportunity to show your prospect what they can achieve through working with you?
Tracking and monitoring these five components in your business will be far more authentic and empowering as you continue to grow your business, and will certainly be noticeable and far more appealing AND influential to your community of followers, your prospects and your existing clients.
Here’s to expanding YOUR personal best!