Competition is at the heart of every business. It is only natural to strive to be the best, and rise to the top. When can it become too much, though?
Competing with rival companies is to be expected, but more people should refrain from going after fellow business partners. Create the best strategy by working together with peers, and develop strong internal policies and a financial plan to thrive.
Compete against the right people
A team of rivals might sound like a good idea. A company could be built with professionals who constantly push and challenge one another. This tends to not work, despite sounding plausible, said Amanda Neville, contributor to Forbes magazine.
She mentioned that one business coach compared a competitive partnership to the cabinet of President Obama, but despite the initial impression that he has a team of rivals, they are instead a team who has put aside their former differences. While a group of business partners may appear competitive, they need to set aside any disagreements and work towards a similar goal. A room of managers arguing over financial investment advice won't agree, and the best plans can go ignored.
Model a company around unique management, not after direct competitors. It never helps to lose focus about the true goals, which are running a successful organization and generating revenue. Constant arguments might foster creativity eventually, but it can waste time and become distracting. When competing within an organization, egos can interfere. This type of conflict is not useful for a small business.
Neville added that competition can be healthy, at the right times. The emotions involved need to be properly focused, typically geared toward improving a company's production. If team members cannot control emotions, they may not be the best assets. The potential for animosity arises, and that can create a rift in a business, instead of leading to great ideas and improved products.
Develop a strong strategy
The best financial tips are created from good business strategy. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, by A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin highlights crucial components of a successful business.
Lafley, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, and Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, attribute the failures of many businesses to poor strategy. One mistake a company can make is to try and tackle everything at once, without creating a proper list of priorities. This can increase the possibility of important elements being ignored, or allow for misappropriation of resources. A poorly built team might also try to take on their strongest competitor first, before building a strong business, or decide that every competitor needs to be targeted at once. All in all, don't build goals that are unrealistic for a fledgling venture, the best financial plan starts simple.
The book states that the best strategy has several components, each of which is designed to help a business strengthen. Step one is basic – what does a successful company look like, and what customers and markets need to be focused on in order to achieve this. The strategy will develop once these important facts are established. Targeting the wrong sector won't let a company sell their products efficiently.
Streamline review processes and internal operations. Online banking and other financial services are available to speed up a business, and reduce costs. Reducing the amount of bureaucracy could help management focus on increasing sales and building a quality working environment.
According to the Economist, Proctor and Gamble encountered problems after Lafley left, and Martin found financial troubles with his business. Even the best strategies need great personnel within the company to succeed.