First off, an alert.
I’ve been invited to speak at an upcoming event, put on by a great friend, and the longest-running “coach” to the tax industry, Chauncey Hutter, Jr.
Here are the details: http://taxmarketing.com/grassroots/
I HIGHLY recommend you make space in your schedule to attend — it’s in one of America’s most beautiful cities (Charlottesville, VA), and this is the first event of this kind which Chauncey has hosted in years.
You might be wondering why I would recommend a “competitor”, of sorts.
I’ll get to that, but I want to take a step back and encourage YOU to take a similar approach with your “competition”.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
I mentioned Chauncey, but let me mention another “competitor” of mine, Dominique Molina.
We actually first met because she was a long-time client of ours, and my staff reported that she was a joy to work with. However, a couple years ago, she stopped using our services, with out much explanation (I know — we really should have asked!).
Then, a few months after that, she pops up on my radar because she became someone who sold and marketed TO the tax industry, with her program, Certified Tax Coach.
She did a nice job with it, and I watched with admiration. (And I suppose that “technically” she’s not quite our competition. as what she does is somewhat unique to the industry).
What’s Your Response When You Encounter Your Competition?
I’ve found that small business owners get really tight when it comes to how they interact with and view their competition. Tax and accounting firms are NOT immune to this.
And I get it. I’ve had competitors use strikingly-similar sales copy to sell strikingly-similar services which we’ve created a market for in our industry. I’ve also seen whole-cloth swiping from myself and others (Chauncey, in particular, has been a victim of this over the years, from people in the tax industry).
So, I understand that people are leery about their competition. And so you might badmouth your competition, or sabotage their business in certain ways (we’ve all heard the horror stories of practice sales going completely sour, with sellers dishonestly retaining and pillaging former clients from the buyer, and into a new entity).
But may I suggest a different approach?
Embrace your competition. Promote them in areas where you aren’t strong, but you know they are. You can even find ways to work TOGETHER, which are mutually beneficial and lift the tide for both of you.
There’s an even more important reason, but back to Dominique Molina…
A couple months ago, I reached out to her on Twitter. We connected, later, over the phone — and a fresh relationship was formed. I found out that the reason she had canceled her services with us was that she sold her practice, and was devoting her full attention to her new venture (she loved what we do.)
Even better — we discovered some synergy, not just personally, but also with some projects that we’ll be collaborating on in the future.
Talk about a “WIN-WIN”.
You can experience the same thing — and, as I mentioned, there’s an even more important reason that you pursue it. That is this:
when you operate with an attitude of abundance (NOT fear), you are signalling to your very soul that your success is not dependent on your competition failing, or even that you achieve “#1” status in your marketplace.
Look, I despise the “woo-woo” baloney out there … but I also know that there are immutable spiritual laws which will always operate. Some of those new-age proponents have simply tapped into these truths (and, in my opinion, are missing some other crucial truths — but that’s a rant for another day).
And one of these spiritual laws is: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Don’t fear your competition. Embrace them — and watch what happens. I guarantee it will be good.
Oh — and Chauncey and I? We both operate from this perspective. It’s one of the reasons I admire him as I do.
So go check out what he’s got going — there are important shifts occuring in our industry, and he’s got a great tap on them.