A Classic Barrier to Growth – Intense Competition

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Don’t you just want to laugh when you hear an executive of a mid-sized company say that they have absolutely no competition? Yeah right!  Even if specific companies don’t appear on industry lists, competition comes in so many forms.  Get used to it.  Competition is everywhere.  Pirates (copycats).  Advances in technology. Mood changes. Generational preferences.

City zoos aren’t just competing with other zoos or museums.  They compete against lakes and swimming pools.  They compete against shopping malls.  They compete against the electronic gadgets in the hands of today’s children. Zoos compete with the Discovery channel on high definition and 3D television that conveys such clear images of animals that children are convinced that they have experienced all that can be seen and heard about gorillas, tigers, and elephants.

If you lead a midsized service business, you realize that the benefits of your services are about words like faster, easier, and more fun. So although it is important to know what major competitors are doing, it is more important to find out what your customers need to go faster, be easier, and/or be more fun. Old fashioned simplistic customer satisfaction surveys don’t do it anymore.  It pays for most of us to invest in learning which websites our customers visit and how their budget priorities are shifting.

Those of us who lead B2B companies need to know where our clients are headed, what keeps the leaders up at night, and what problems they are addressing…even if the relevance of those problems to the services we provide isn’t immediately clear.  One of our strategic planning clients has been looking for more affordable manufacturing options. Although I am an owner of a suite of companies that helps mid-sized companies keep growing, none of them specialize in locating manufacturing plants.  But I sure am glad we knew what our client needed.  It turned out that a guest on my weekly on line peer-to-peer talk show was a great source for a plant in Vietnam. Who knew?! Our networking saved that client a ton of time, money and frustration, plus the show guest got a buyer for his underutilized plant.  That helps us retain clients while other strategy firms worry about competitors.  

 

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search.  2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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