An article in a recent issue of Parade magazine, “A Winning Friendship,” detailed how ultimate tennis rivals Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova battled on the court, and how strong competition made them each better at their profession.
While the two tennis greats were friends behind the scenes and their friendship is still going strong today, the on-court adversaries played tough.
When asked what effect their rivalry had on their careers, they both responded that it made them better competitors. “It made our careers longer and better,” said Navratilova. “I don’t think either of us would have lasted as long without the other.” Added Evert: “It gave us inspiration and a lot of incentive to work harder and try to continue to improve.”
Think about your own situation, and how your local competition affects certain aspects of your business. Having competitors makes you want to work harder to beat them out. Competition gives you more motivation to excel, makes you work smarter, think more proactively and sharpen the pencil a little more, doesn’t it?
I’m sure you monitor what your competitors are doing in terms of advertised specials, services offered, customer service incentives, shop improvements, and the like. You probably hit your competitors’ websites regularly, or should be, to see what they are promoting, saying, doing and changing.
Back to the magazine article, both players commented on what it takes to be a champion.
Explained Evert: “The mental part of the game. A lot of players were faster and stronger, but I think being able to just zero in and focus was my strength.” Navratilova added: “I think the ability to fail. Not being afraid to put it all on the line and come up short. Most people don’t have that.”
Think about ways to hone your competitive edge. Create advertising campaigns that fit your market and adequately convey your message. Exceed your customers’ expectations and win their loyalty for repeat service. Consider ways to add more value with each vehicle you repair. Evaluate every aspect of the way you do business, to see where improvements or enhancements can be made. Survey your customers to get their feedback about their service experiences. Capitalize on the things you’re doing right and take seriously any constructive criticism they may offer.
Use competition to your advantage to foster continuous innovation and improvement at your shop. That way, you’ll be the yardstick against which others measure their success.