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Use your competition as a benchmark not as a must

We have all checked out our competition at one point or another, whether it’s people, companies or co-workers that do something that you would like to do or that you’re already doing.  We are interested  in seeing what has worked for them and what has not, in order to have a point of reference when it’s time for us to put it into practice.

It’s also important to find an example to follow that gives us a certain excitement to get to where they are or even surpass them, however, we must work on one step at a time.

Remember that those companies or people didn’t accomplish everything overnight, the road is long, and in addition to studying their achievements, you also have to know their failures and everything that they have done to get to where they are. Study them as a goal to strive towards, not as an obligation.

Remember that you can tweak your goals as you move forward and a requirement or obligation generally has a negative connotation to what you want to accomplish.  

When we set a goal as a burden or requirement we are destined to fail, besides giving it a negative connotation, you are giving the competition a great deal of importance which in the long run will bring us problems and frustrations.

Study your competition, but don’t set your goals in relation to them, find your strengths, your differences that make you better, your purpose, so set your goals and objectives that fit in with you.   

Studying the competition helps us better understand how the business works and what you can expect to happen or how the business will behave in the coming years. It helps us to know if it’s a good business and if people are interested in the product or service you offer.  It also helps us measure how near or how far we are from the competition and to find out which strategies our competitors follow, find the best practices so that you can apply them to your own business, always putting your unique touch on them.

How to correctly use what you learn about your competition?

  1. Define what it is you want to compare and what the most important measurements are for your business. It could be sales, growth, profitability, etc.  But it is important that you define what they are before you start in order to focus on those measurements specifically.  As you do your investigation you must keep in mind the size of your company and the time you’ve been operating so that it is a fair comparison. 
  1. After the investigation, it is time to create goals.

You must focus on what you want for yourself in the future, with your values and policies that are unique to you.  Don’t try to imitate and focus on what your short-term, medium, and long-term goals are, thus being able to define where to start and what follow up you have to do.

Remember that the goals you set must be related to where your company stands and not compare them to bigger companies or to those that have been in business for a longer period of time.  The measurement is against what you have accomplished in the past, and this comparison is only to get an idea of the possibilities that exist before you.  

  1. Once you have established your goals, start following up each one of them, measure the progress and make sure you are improving. If you see that you are stuck, find another way to reach that goal and modify them, if necessary.

Remember, it’s about setting objectives that will motivate you while you see the progress and that are challenging at the same time so that your efforts are rewarded. 

What’s most important about studying the competition is to take action.  If you took the time to do the investigation and to put into practice the recommendations we mentioned, don’t stop there.  Continue to move forward and to take action so that you start reaching the goals you have set.  Remember that all of the planning is useless until you put it into practice.

© 2020, All rights reserved, Aldin Consulting Group, LLC.

Daniel Alejandro Díaz Guerrero
[email protected]


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