Throughout my various roles in employment I have been asked to prepare and report on competition. In every role it was deemed important to understand what our competitors were up to with the main aim of outperforming them.
Competition is a natural part of today’s society. If you play sport then you are always trying to outperform your competition and work life is no different. On my networking travels I will often come across 2 or 3 companies, supplying the same service and targeting the same companies. The difference between them is not their services but their personality.
My recent experience of this was with 3 print companies. I met each one over a 10 minute business discussion. The first one did a heavy sales pitch on me for 10 minutes and not once did they ask me about my business or my requirements. The second person engaged with me straight away, finding out about my business and whether I had any current printing requirements. The third person wanted to know about me, we had a 10 minute conversation talking about each other and why were attending this networking event. The outcome is that I agreed with the third person to pass opportunities as and when they arise.
When I come across another VA or indeed any company offering specific marketing services I always try to have a chat with them. Not because I see them as competition but because we may be able to assist one another. I do not see the VA industry as one that should be highly competitive. The one thing I have learnt in my short time as a VA is that partnerships really do work. During my networking I have met a company that provides telephone answering services. This is a service that I do not provide but is certainly something that could complement my business. I have also assisted another VA by creating a 12 month marketing plan for them.
Competition will always be a part of life. How an individual handles and perceives their competition is their choice. For me I love being a VA and I see other VA’s as partners and not competitors. Working with a VA and for a VA has already helped my business develop and I in turn will always be happy to help and support my colleagues.
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