It’s only natural for startup founders and small business owners to worry about what competitors are doing. Is their product better than yours? What features will they add next? How can you keep up?

While keeping an eye on the market is never a bad idea, focusing too much on the competition can be fatal for your business…

Customers over competitors

Instead of trying to keep up with the competition, spend more time getting to know your customers and finding out what they really want from you.

Try asking your existing customers how you can improve your product. What features would they like to see in the future? How can you make it easier for them to use? Never mind the competition, learn what your ideal customers want by talking to them!

“If you’re customer-focused, you’re always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow? We want to impress our customers — we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Loyalty marketing

Traditionally, businesses have tried to beat the competition by creating the best product with the most features for the best price (or at least trying to).

However, instead of worrying about what the competition are doing, you could be providing your customers with a great experience that will encourage them to remain loyal to you.

“It’s [loyalty marketing] focused on building relationships that make doing business easier and more rewarding – the aim is to keep customers and by definition keep them away from competitors.” – Mark Sage, Global Loyalty Marketing Director at Aimia

Don’t lose track of your idea

You started your company with a great idea. Sure, you will need to grow and adapt to survive in your market, but your decisions to change should be based on your business and not your competitors’.

“Companies with too much focus on competitors tend to offer more of the same, while fiercely defending the differences that customers either don’t notice or don’t care about.” Seena Sharp, Author of Competitive Intelligence Advantage

Too much focus on your competitors will distract you from what your company is really about and what your customers really need. Is it really worth it for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses?

Tell us how you deal with your competition in the comments.

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