Competition or Collaboration?

Do you guard your business or collaborate with your market?. Recently, some people noticed on Twitter that I was having conversations with other transcriptionists and transcription company owners. You may also remember that I gave a shout out to Nicole Dean and Arika Lewis of Yummy PLR in this post.

I was asked
• Aren’t they your competition?
• Aren’t you worried they will steal ideas or clients from you?
• You don’t want them taking your marketing strategies do you?

Simple Answers

Technically, yes. They are my “competition.” But if they were going to steal my ideas, clients and marketing materials, they probably wouldn’t put themselves in a position for me to see them do it.

One of the ladies I was having a twitter conversation with is a former employee of mine. She didn’t leave me because of any issues. Only because she had the desire to own her company. Shortly after she went out on her own, CS emailed me asking if I was ok with what she had done. Another lady she had worked for chewed her ear off for having entrepreneurial dreams. To that lady, CS was now the enemy- the dreaded competition.

I’m sure you’ve noticed everyday more and more teleseminars are being recorded. Hundreds, if not thousands of live events are happening. The supply of work for a transcriptionist is only limited by the imagination of the speakers and business owners in world.

Sure we all want more clients, but there is no realistic way for one freelance transcriptionist or even a company with more than 30 transcriptionists like mine to do ALL the work in the market. We can sure try but at some point, quality starts to fail, deadlines don’t get met and stress levels rise. Unrealistic deadlines and expectations promised to a client, will only result in one thing, an unhappy client.

The one thing in the world, I don’t want is an unhappy client. One mad client is worse than no clients.

Pizza Box Competition

You can keep your “competition” fears. The way I see it, business wouldn’t be what it is today if someone hadn’t taken a good idea and elaborated on it.

For example, the pizza box- how many pizza boxes have been in your house this year? In the 1940s, pizzas were put were slid into a thick paperboard-paperbag. They were flimsy and didn’t hold heat in at all. In the 1960s, the corrugated pizza box was developed. The earliest corrugated boxes still required staples or tons of tape. Next came a connected corner “roll-over” box with a paper lock. Pizza Hut, Papa John’s Pizza, and Little Caesars Pizza still use these boxes. These are the ones that if you ever mess up the little tab holding the box together, the whole thing comes apart. Dominos uses a slightly different box that isn’t entirely square to save on materials. It’s also more stable. Now I’m not some kind of pizza box nut. I found most of this information here. Pizza Packaging Overview & History

My point is- of all the designs shown, none of them were designed by the same person. If it weren’t for continued efforts, we’d still be carrying soggy pizza in a grocery bag.

Are you backing yourself in a corner?

Even though you see tons of marketing experts everyday, many are booked out several weeks for appointments. If it was as simple as clicking on my home page and stealing my copy, marketers would have gone out of business a long time ago. Writing isn’t something you can just pick up on by stealing. It has to be taught (or outsourced.)

Just as a doctor may present a case in front of his peers for advice, you may need a sounding board or have questions. Your marketing consultant or accountant isn’t going to know anything about how to design a good tarantula cage (insert your niche here.) But Joe’s Tarantula World/website may hold golden information. And they may be a potental client if you can make their design better and keep your skills in your hand. Here is where the student becomes the master.

If you aren’t networking in your market or similar fields, you may be missing out on fantastic opportunities or partnerships. A simple conversation may spark an idea and start a trusted friendship. Stop hiding and start collaborating.

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About Erica

Erica Cosminsky is an HR Business Strategist for small businesses. She can slog through the pile of applicants and help deliver the best assistant to your "office door", she transforms mile long to-do lists into manageable bites, and like your best friend after a raging party, she sticks around to offer assistance or clean up any messes, etc. Find her free delegation workbook at TheInvisibleOffice.com

She is a former corporate HR Manager, and ran her own virtual business team for 4 years. She has a BS in Organizational Leadership focused in HR and is a grad student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology focused in Workplace Efficiency. Honestly, if you have questions about working with people, Erica can probably help you. Ask her on Twitter. @Cosminsky

Comments

  1. Dave Doolin
    Twitter: websiteweekend
    says:

    Your comments are similar to an article on “Stealth Startups” I read a few days ago. The upshot is staying secret to be competitive mostly means nobody will ever know who you are.

    Business is changing rapidly.

    Now if they would just let the banks fail, the rents would drop, and I could get a real office!

    • Erica
      Twitter: Cosminsky
      says:

      Dave,

      That’s a very good point. By putting up walls, you only lock yourself in- sort of like in Panic Room.

      And you know, some of my competition are also some of my best clients.

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