We all face competition from time to time—be it in academics, at work or in sports. We compete for opportunities, resources, jobs, good people, among other things. Only the best prepared competitors win.
Now, how can you best prepare yourself for competition? How can you ensure that you optimise your chances of beating your competition? Today we will look at six of the ten major techniques that you can use to beat your competition and next week we will complete the list of ten tactics.
- Master your opponents
You cannot win any competition unless you fully know and master your opposition. You need to study your competition and even write down all the strengths and weaknesses of each of your opponents. This way, you will be able to devise an appropriate winning strategy that will weaken your opponents’ strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
- Offer simple alternative
For competition between companies, if your opponents launch a very successful product or service, you need to quickly come up with a very simple but effective alternative to eat into the blossoming market share of your competitor. In general terms, offering simple alternative means that against a very successful drive from the opponent, offer an alternative that disturbs or distracts the momentum that the opponent is building.
- Build bigger brand
Brand is everything in the market. For companies, we know that those companies that have a bigger and more attractive brand easily make more sales. They are able to command a bigger market share and they get more customers buying their products and services. But even in football, as an example outside companies in traditional trading of goods and services, good branding helps win. Football teams that have a bigger brand command bigger following of fans who help energise and motivate the players on the field. The bigger football brand also means that the club can mobilise more resources through sales to the large fan base and through bigger sponsorships as sponsors want to partner with big brands. You can extend and apply this principle of branding in any other type of competition and you will find that the bigger and more attractive the brand is, the better the chance of winning. Even when you are competing for a job, your good brand will be one that shows exactly how different and better you are than the rest of the job candidates.
- Build strong partnerships
Competitors that have better and bigger partnerships stand a better chance of winning. They have access to better and more resources. They can easily improve on their performance and strategy. They have easy access to best practices and can reinforce their weaknesses through exchange programmes. Peer reviews can help them continuously improve on their competitiveness. Build strong and good partnerships if you are to be a strong competitor.
- Operate adaptably
History has shown time and time again that armies that operate adaptably easily win battles and wars. We can learn from the military world how best to operate in the face of competition. Keep changing the way you operate in competition so that your opponents fail to catch up and to counter your tactics. Remember that the opponents are constantly studying you and coming up with counter measures against your best strategies.
- Act faster
You may be adaptable, but if you are slow, your competition will quickly catch up with you. They will learn your tactics and counter them before your strategies can take effect. Act fast and much faster than your opponent. Surprise them all the time. Then you will win!