Knowing how to stay ahead of the curve and keep your business successful often comes down to a few simple rules. Once you understand that business competition isn’t inherently a bad thing for your company, it’s a lot easier to adjust your tactics so you not only feel better at the end of the day, but that your bottom-line shows improvement, too.
In that sense, running your own small business can feel a lot like playing sports. You’re competing with others in your same industry, just like your high school team did on the football field. The difference, though, is that this type of game is closely tied to “real life.” The actions you take in your business directly impact the months and years ahead of you. Maintain a healthy attitude and perspective, and you’ll be able to grow your small businesslike a real pro.
You Can’t Do It Alone.
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? This rule applies to every small business, just like any group sport. Clear communication and getting your best players (or employees) in a position where their natural skills can shine is a big part of making sure your operation runs smoothly every day.
Another part of enjoying the game is to put yourself in a role that matches your core competencies, too. If you aren’t a fan of micro-managing your company’s hiring process, employee benefits, or your bookkeeping records, then it’s best to delegate. Knowing when to outsource these important aspects of your business ensures that you get an all-star team in every department. When in doubt, it’s best to go to the experts. Having capable professionals behind the scenes makes all the difference when you go head-to-head with your business competition. Make sure every member on your team is in a position to do their very best work.
Faster Isn’t Always Better.
Sure, efficiency is great, but don’t get it confused with being reckless. Speed isn’t everything—even when it comes to getting paid quickly! A construction job that beats its deadline might make everyone happy for the short-term, but that only lasts if there weren’t any mistakes. A lot of small companies succeed because they deliver quality over their business competition, not just fast results.
Putting the emphasis on quality also helps position your company as an industry leader. Assuming their rate is the same, would you rather hire the accountant that can finish your taxes in 60 minutes, or the one who makes an effort to talk with you about your past year, future goals, and financial concerns? For something that high-stress, the second option is usually the way to go. (And it’s worth noting that your customers probably feel the same about your products and services!) Taking the time to build relationships and trust may take longer upfront, but it’s a smart way to have a loyal customer base for years to come.
Winning Isn’t Everything.
Probably the biggest take-away from sports for small business owners is this: Competition helps you grow.Knowing that your customers can pick and choose from a variety of options is what motivates you to do better from every angle of your business. So, is that really a bad thing?
If you can accept that mentality, then you might be ready to graduate to the big leagues and start building healthy relationships with your competitors. Sound controversial? Business competition exists because one company alone isn’t able to serve every single customer in your service area. It doesn’t mean that you have to join forces with them or beat them out-right. Instead, consider the option of creating working relationships so if you ever get booked solid, you can refer your clients to another trusted peer. In that sense, you’re not exactly losing business—you’re just working to build relationships and hopefully earn the respect of your customers and competitors for the long-term.
Got another great sports-business lesson? Feel free to leave a comment below to share your insights! The Payroll Department values your input, so please don’t be shy about continuing the conversation. We’d also love to hear from you if you have any questions about payroll processing or outsourcing any of your bookkeeping or human resources needs. We’re always here to support you and your business!
-Paige of The Payroll Department Blog Team