Just the other day I was speaking to a client who told me they didn’t want to share content on their website about their products because they didn’t want their competitors to have a close look at what they are doing.
Great point, right?
Wrong. While I know that we all believe that what we do is so revolutionary that by letting our competitors even get a glimpse of what we are doing will send our whole business in a tailspin. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. Furthermore, chances are if your competition really wanted to see what you are doing they will find a way.
The truth is, most of the time the competition is pretty focused on what they are doing, and if anything their hyper focus on your business would be more of a benefit to your business.
Reportedly, Warren Buffett once said something like this: (Not verbatim)
I would gladly leave my strategic playbook on the seat of any airplane for anyone to find. When prodded as to why his response was along the lines of because I don’t believe whoever found it could execute it better than I can.
In short, what Buffett was saying was that there really isn’t anything that miraculous about what he does. He just does it better than everyone else.
What This Means To You…Execution Is The Key
I find that too many businesses spend an inordinate amount of time worried about the competition. In the world we live in, there is so much information at our disposal (much of it for free), that there is little likelihood that what you are doing is so super cutting edge that your competitor can just up and copy you.
And if they can just up and copy you then it is even a greater indicator that what you are doing isn’t all that unique.
If what your business is doing is at the intersection of what’s hot and what’s next, then I recommend you look for opportunities to patent, trademark and copyright. While that won’t stop all infringements, it will likely cut out much of the riff raff.
The Point: more likely than not, the success or failure of your business will be in the execution. Whether that is developing business, delivering products and services or driving high levels of customer satisfaction; in all cases execution is the key.
Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Put your money and your focus on executing ideas (even mediocre one’s) and you will see the type of return you set out to achieve, regardless of whether or not your competitor is staring over your shoulder.