Threats are always going to exist in business. The competitor that managed to beat you to launch. That person that rips off your content (it just happened to me recently..). The business down the road that undercuts your pricing. The weirdo that copies everything you do, from social media to products and services.
It’s annoying, disheartening and frustrating
You can spend a lot of time in your business looking outwards, watching for business predators who might steal your success. Keeping an eye on stalkers and trying to duck and weave quickly enough to lose them. Holding back on releasing your new ‘thing’ into the world because you know someone will jump on your idea straight away, or constantly cutting prices to beat someone else (to broke town..). These are all reactive ways to run a business.
Is that really the biggest threat to your business success?
Probably not. If you’re not ready for some blunt advice then you might want to come back later. I am dishing this up with love and from experience. I too fell into the external blame game and it is tempting to crawl back there when I want to be a little self-indulgent.
‘They’ are not your problem!
The external ‘them’ are not your biggest threat. The stalker competitors and price cutters, the idea stealers and product thieves. They are distractions and an annoyance, but not as dangerous to your business as YOU. Yes, you read that right… YOU.
You have more power to be a positive or negative influence on your business than anyone else. It is easy to blame the external but are you doing everything you need to be doing to ensure your business is growing at such a rate no one can touch you?
Here are some quick questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a focused short (90 days) and long (1 year+) plan that you follow to ensure you’re not being reactive to outside influencers?
+ Are you creating consistent, clearly branded content to use in your marketing?
+ Do you invest time in growing your email subscribers and building a deep connection with them?
+ Are you putting yourself out there so people can fall in love with your business and message?
+ Have you been monitoring your growth in sales, average customer order, new inquiries and conversions so you know what marketing works and what doesn’t?
+ Is your website clear and easy to use? Is it obvious what you sell and how to purchase?
+ Do you invest in paid marketing and track and measure the results?
+ Are you constantly focused on making small tweaks and improvements to get better results?
+ Finally… do you use your time effectively? How focused and productive are you as a business owner?
The external threats will always exist, it is just part of being in business. The good news is you can make them irrelevant by focusing on your own game. If you follow them on social media then stop. If you keep seeing their ads in your newsfeed you can hide them. If you’re on their mailing list then unsubscribe. Do what you can to avoid the distraction.
One of my courses was ripped off recently. I swear I went through the stages of grief. First up was denial “it must be a mistake, maybe I read that wrong”, then anger “how could they do this to me?”, bargaining “I will just ask if they can remove it”. Finally, depression hit “I am not doing this anymore, what is the freaking point” and finally acceptance, “well that sucked.. time to move on”.
Here is what I know
My business is strong. I am consistent and focused. I have a solid plan and I know exactly what works and what doesn’t. I am constantly tweaking and testing and adjusting. I know my stuff, I know it inside and out.
Can the same be said for the person who copied my content? No. If they knew even half of what I know they wouldn’t need to rip me off. They would be too busy in their own business making money to have the time or need to copy me. If they need to rip me off then I can only assume they’re going to attempt to replicate my sales process too. Kind of hard to do when they simply don’t have the knowledge or skill of what goes on behind the scenes. Best of luck to them…
Don’t let them win
The worst thing you can do is let them win. If you pull that product launch because they beat you to it you’re only damaging your own business. If you stop sharing content or ideas for fear that they will soon be sharing as their own your messing with your success. If you’re constantly ducking and weaving and changing direction to lose them you there is no way you can future plan.
“When you focus on authentic brand + marketing your customers will see right through the fakers and stalkers”
No one who is a follower of what I do is going to jump on over to a copycat or price slasher. If they do then they’re not my ideal customer. My ideal customer seeks expertise, honesty, truth, transparency and quality. They know how to sniff out fakes and they’re not turned on by cheap pricing.
My final words… focus on building a business that is so YOU that anyone who dares to steal, price slash or copy looks like a joke in comparison.