Stop comparing your business to others

EMMA BOWDLER

I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality. 

Stop comparing your business to others – they’re not your competition – here is why. 

Starting a business is like a race; you need competition to drive your forward, BUT if you fixate on other competitors too much, you can lose sight of the finish line. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 60 percent of small businesses in Australia stop operation in the first three years. 

That alone should tell you it’s a hard (but worthwhile) game, so you need to remain focused.  

Continually comparing your business to others in the first few years of launch is a dangerous trap that can lead to distraction and oversight. 

Now, knowing where you fit in the marketplace is crucial for any small business and I always tell my clients that understanding where competitors fit into the puzzle is essential, but we are drawing a line here between understanding and obsession.

If you’re fixated on your competitors, their successes, and what they do better, you will drive yourself mad. 

At the end of the day, you don’t have their resources and you don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else.  So please, don’t try and emulate what they’re doing. 

Don’t pour money into big shiny marketing campaigns or features that aren’t tried and tested. If you do, you risk forgetting about those that matter most; your customers. 

In the early days, you’re better off focusing on building a genuine customer connection in the hope of generating word-of-mouth referrals. 

I know this is hard yakka but it pays off.

should i go into business
Emma Bowdler holding mug and phone

By not focusing on competitors you’re also protecting your most important stakeholder; yourself.” 

EMMA BOWDLER

Woman holding ipad

Word of mouth referrals is one of the most important marketing tools a small business has. That’s evidenced by the fact 86 per cent of customers state they trust such referrals, over expensive media campaigns.

If you’re constantly focusing on results, or the prize so to speak, you neglect building your loyal customer base. 

By not focusing on competitors you’re also protecting your most important stakeholder; yourself.

I’m not going to sugar coat this, the first few years of starting a business are going to be some of the most stressful times you will ever live through. You will question what you’re doing and you will want to throw in the towel on occasion. This is normal. 

A survey run by Yellow found that small business owners listed managing business cashflow and debt, juggling multiple responsibilities, and the no work-life balance as their main stressors. Continually comparing your business to a successful player is just one more plate on that table. 

Please remember to be kind to yourself. 

Do not compare yourself to others, focus instead on your wins, what you do well, and chart your own milestones to cement your own path. By doing this you give your business the best chance of making it to the finish line.

Stop comparing your business

EMMA BOWDLER

I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality. 

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