This morning I read my daily email from Danny Brown, media and marketing blogger with a lot of very real, very good stuff to say.
As a small business owner in the High Desert, a market scrambling to right itself after a long recession, I think competition is important. I know RelyLocal has both local and national competitors in the category of internet directories. (We have our unique selling propositions that set us apart, but they are still competitors.) We also have competitors that provide elements of the grassroots marketing, social media promotion and small business advocacy that we do.
Does it scare me that people might choose to go with someone else? Of course. I believe deeply in what we are doing. I want others to see it too. And I want RelyLocal to be successful and make a real difference.
Does competition drive me to improve, expand, work harder and smarter? Absolutely! I want local businesses to join our coalition because they see that we work harder for them. I want Victor Valley residents to visit our site often because they believe that “Buy Local, RelyLocal” will help our community in the long run. And that will only happen when we continually learn, refine and work hard.
I also have to say that we are working with some businesses who have a great perspective on competition in their industry in the High Desert. They could be cut throat, insisting that only one of their type of business be allowed in RelyLocal, to artificially prop themselves up in “first place”. Instead, they recognize that, to be successful,
- there is a lot of business to go around so they don’t need to tear other competitors down
- they need to give top notch service to their existing customers
- they can persuade the people who go down the hill for services to keep their dollars up here
- there are needs that aren’t being met and they can build new business by meeting them.
Focusing on these things brings a business into a new stratosphere. Brown closes with a great line:
Don’t hate others for doing things wrong; make them hate you for doing things right.
Haters will always hate, but if I sling mud, some of that mud is always going to stick to me. Being number one by stomping on numbers 2 through 50 just means I’d do well on a reality tv show.
Image: Danny Brown