Monday, February 28, 2011

Your Biggest Competitor? Your Numbers

When I made the decision to stop playing baseball after my sophomore year in college, my biggest worry was that I would miss the competition. You know, me against my opponent to see who comes out on top.
What I quickly realized was that I didn't miss the competition at all. In fact, my joy for the game really wasn't about the competition. It was about the challenge of improving on my own performance. I missed going out and trying to win games for my team (more games than the year before) and I missed trying to improve on my statistics, each and every year. Hit .360 one year, the challenge would be to hit .380 the next year.
As business owners, it's the same. We're all competing against our own numbers (revenue, expense, profit, productivity, etc.) every year. That should be our focus and that should be what gets us charged up each day to work.
Lately, I've been hearing a lot of owners focus (some even obsess in my view) on their competitors. These owners will say: "My competitors are doing.....I heard they are going to start...."
There is no doubt you need to know your competition and what is working for them, but keep in mind that, as business owners, our biggest competitor is our own numbers. If we move those numbers in a positive direction, it doesn't matter what our competition is doing or not doing.
-Ron Ameln, SBM