Why You Should Keep An Eye On Your Business Competitors
Omage of a desk with a clock on its back and pencil on a curriculum vitae with the text underneath saying: How can a neurodiverse individual effectively prepare for a jon interview/meetig
If you were running in a race, it would be only natural to want to sneak a look over at your opponent from time to time! 
 
It’s just as tempting in business to keep tabs on your business competitors – but is this always a good idea? 
 
Knowing when to keep an eye on your competition (and when to stop!) is a valuable tool in business. You’re in the same industry, so keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing helps by keeping you ‘in the know’ about changes the entire industry is going through as a whole. 
 
There can be, however, some downsides. Paying too much attention to what your competitors are doing can result in business decisions being made for the wrong reasons. 
 
Ideally, watching what your business competitors are doing should be a balancing act. We’ve listed some reasons why knowing what your competitors are up to can be a great thing – or sometimes not such a great thing! 

Why you should:

Fresh ideas –
There may be things that other businesses are doing that you haven’t yet considered. Your competitor, for example, may be doing a roaring trade because they have been opting for sustainable, plastic-free packaging for their products, and so are appealing to the eco-conscious market. You may not have even considered this when designing your packaging, and it may be a huge potential market that you are overlooking.

The trick, however, is not to take every single new innovation that everyone else uses and immediately adopt it into your own business – learn to follow your own instinct and stick to your guns. Just because someone else is doing something new, doesn’t mean that it is definitely worth pursuing.

Find out what makes you unique –
Looking at others will help you find out what is unique about your business – and you can then take this knowledge and make it your USP.

Is there an element of your business that you’re not seeing in others? Do you have a different angle to everyone else? Is there gap in the market that you could fill?

Keep up to date with industry info –
Keeping up to speed with where your industry is going in a wider context is always going to be beneficial for your business.

By keeping up to date with new developments in other businesses in your industry, you will stay ahead of the curve. Being able to adapt to new changes can mean the difference between a business that struggles and one that lasts!

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee”:

Ever heard of this phrase? Simply put, it means that trying to appeal to everyone will appeal to precisely no one. Trying to incorporate too many details into your product or service will mean that what you do have won’t work as effectively.

Don’t get so drawn in by everyone else’s ideas and businesses that you turn your own business into a patchwork quilt of all of your competitors’ ideas! You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, so just focus on doing the best job you possibly can.

Keep up with the Joneses:
There is pretty much always going to be someone who is doing better than you or earning more than you – trying to keep up with everyone else is going to result in you feeling like you’re on a treadmill that’s constantly getting faster and faster. You can’t keep up with everyone, and that’s OK! When you find yourself getting obsessed with following other people’s business moves or bitterly grumbling about their successes, that means it’s time to take a step back and focus on yourself instead.

Lose your individuality –
While keeping an eye on your competitors can help you find out what makes you and your business ultimately unique from them, completely imitating your competitors will, in some cases, make you lose sight of what makes you, and your business, unique. You began your business with a single-minded vision, and now that vision has become diluted.

You’ll know when you’ve lost sight of that initial idea or vision that got you started in the first place; you’ll start to second-guess and doubt your decisions, and you’ll begin to lose confidence in yourself. Ultimately, your existing customers are coming back to you time and again because you’re doing something right. Don’t forget to put trust into your own instinct and ideas!

Your race is your own to run, and it won’t help to constantly keep your eye on your opponent. A healthy interest in your competition is all that’s needed, so that you can save the rest of your time and energy for your own business.

Thank you for reading! If you liked this blog, you might also be interested in the following posts:

• What Is a Buyer Persona?
• 6 Ways to Grow Your Small Business
• Boost Your Sales With Sales Psychology

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss one day, but the right time never seemed to present itself.

On a camping weekend, I hurt my ankle badly and I simply couldn’t drive, the mega Corp I worked for as an Executive Assistant were surprisingly sympathetic and rather than just be off work sick, they arranged remote access to work from home, happy days, no commuting. Eureka!! I could do this on a permanent basis if I took “The Risk.”

I handed in my notice and started building my business, sourcing associate work to tide me over until I had my own clients.

One unremarkable day I had a query from a potential client who literally changed my life, she explained that she was Neurodivergent, (something that I’d had a little bit of experience with within my former corporate life) and could really do with a VA that could cope with her particular way of working. I finally realised it wasn’t just the commuting I struggled with, it was the whole corporate world that I didn’t want to engage with, my passion has always been to try and help/assist wherever I can.

Neurodivergent clients are simply the best, no one client is the same as the next and the feeling of accomplishment when I know I’ve actually made a positive difference can’t be beaten.

So if you’re a Neurodivergent business owner, take that “risk”, arrange a call with me, join my Facebook group or take out a membership and see how me and my marvellous team could give any assistance needed.

Taking a risk could mean leaving that job you’ve hated for years. Maybe you’re dreaming of starting your own business or thinking about going back to school because the degree you got the first time just wasn’t the right fit. Or perhaps, it’s about finally saying NO MORE to always trying to make everyone else happy.

To really grow—both personally and in business—you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Do you have the courage to take a risk?

What’s holding you back?

Are you stuck in the “what ifs”?

Are you just surviving or feeling stuck in your comfort zone, struggling to break free?

If you’ve been thinking about making a change but fear of failure is stopping you, it’s time to ask yourself: What part of myself am I losing because I’m afraid to take a risk?

Only you know what needs to shift for you to move forward.

When I started my own business in 2018, I had those same doubts and fears. Leaving a secure, full-time job with no clients lined up was a huge risk. But looking back, I have no regrets. It was the right move for me, and it’s paid off in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Now, I wouldn’t tell everyone to just quit their job. It was a decision that took a lot of planning and careful consideration. I was lucky to have a backup plan and the support of my husband. Without that, I couldn’t have made the leap.

Back then, I was stretched thin, working over 70 hours a week at a demanding full-time job. I realised I couldn’t give my all to both my job and my personal aspirations. The thought of continuing on that path, neglecting my own dreams, was fast becoming a non-option.

Leaving a steady salary behind was scary, especially with no clients lined up. But staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t bring the fulfilment and success I wanted. So, I decided to take the risk.

My boss thought I was crazy and even offered to let me stay on part-time, working 20 hours a week. For some, that might have been a good compromise. But for me, it wasn’t just about the money. I pride myself on giving 100% to whatever I do, and I knew that splitting my time would mean I couldn’t give my best to either role.

So, despite the uncertainty and scepticism from others, I chose to just DO IT and take my own path. By no means was it an easy decision and on my last day at work I felt physically sick!  As I walked out of the office for the last time and got in my car, for the 1000th time, that day I had doubts and what if’s running through my head!  What the bloody hell had I done?  And more importantly, now I was on my own, where do I start?  There was no one to tell me what to do and I was seriously thinking of going back and asking for my job back!

Now 5 years on, I can confidently say it was the right decision. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been moments of doubt, but the freedom to pursue my passion has been worth every challenge and sacrifice.

I love what I’m doing!

Taking risks can be inspiring, enjoyable, and help you grow in so many ways. Embrace it!

What are the potential rewards of taking risks in life?

Sense of Accomplishment: Taking risks is scary, but it leads to self-discovery. Many people I know had no idea where their journey would take them, but the sense of accomplishment and pride they feel is incredible.

They feel alive for the first time, I know I did!

Personal Freedom: Imagine working with people you like and doing what you really enjoy – this is your path to personal freedom.

Letting Go of the Past: Challenging old routines and assumptions can be rewarding. By taking risks, you can disprove old beliefs and free yourself from negative thoughts and “what ifs”.

Self-Discovery: This is a biggie; risks help you learn about yourself, your values, and what drives you. With new experiences, you can find what truly makes you happy. My journey from being an employee to running my own business has been a profound experience of self-discovery.

Increased Confidence: Each risk you take builds your confidence and makes you more flexible and a better decision-maker.

New Opportunities: Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, both professionally and personally and it’s so exciting when this happens and I LOVE meeting new people and learning. No more stuck in that 9 to 5 waiting for someone to leave before you get the opportunity to get promoted.

Resilience: Risks teach you how to handle setbacks, building resilience and the ability to navigate challenges like a pro.

No Regrets: If the risk works out, fantastic! If not, it’s a valuable lesson that makes you wiser. We learn from our mistakes.

 

For those who are neurodivergent, taking risks can feel daunting, but it can also lead to incredible personal development and success. Using a Virtual Assistant can be a game-changer, providing essential support and helping to navigate uncertainties.

Starting to take risks can be scary, but that’s okay. It’s natural to want to stay safe. Trust me, taking risks can be fun too. There’s a whole world out there with endless possibilities. To figure out which risks are right for you, just go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if something doesn’t go as planned, you’ll learn from it and grow.

Curious about how Virtual Assistant support can change your risk-taking journey with a business that understands what it’s like to run a successful business. Schedule a FREE consultation with me—no risk here, I promise!

 

Ps. Yes, that’s me jumping out of a plane for charity!

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