Don’t be afraid of that competition, embrace it!
Easier said than done perhaps? The thing to remember is that your business type is not unique, you are not the only photographer, cake maker, clothes maker, designer etc in your town. What you must remember instead is that YOU are the unique part of your business, you! This applies to so many different areas of business but I’ll talk from my personal point of view, simply replace the word photographer to your own business.
Eek another one!
I’m not even joking when I say I see a new photographer advertising every week. It’s all too easy to feel attacked, to feel that your business is at risk. Studio photographers never bother me at all, in fact I often send families to local studio photographers if that’s what they’re looking for. That’s easy, that’s a different service that I personally don’t offer. No, for me it’s the local outdoor photographers that get me thinking. I’m not going to lie, usually my initial thought is eekk another one! But give me a few hours and I think a little more clearly. They are not me and I am not them. Each of us brings our own experiences and passions into our work. We shoot differently, we edit differently, we provide a service that will always be unique to us.
We are all working towards a happy working life
What I always remind myself (and you should too) is that we are all looking for our own happiness, all trying to create the right home/work balances for our families. All wanting to fulfil dreams, follow our hearts and work towards a happy working life. We are not here to destroy another person’s wishes or to spend far too much time worrying about what their business means for ours. It’s very easy to fall back into a negative frame of mind. To worry that your service isn’t good enough or worry that clients will no longer want to pay your prices. It’s OK to wobble, wobble a little bit then what do you do? You continue to work hard on YOUR business. To provide the best service that you can and to continue to grow. Maybe you inspired someone to pursue their dreams, maybe you are the reason that someone decided to follow their heart. To inspire others, that’s an amazing thing. I personally hope that I inspire my children, that they see me working hard to achieve a life I want for our family. Perhaps they’ll follow in my footsteps or maybe they’ll be like their daddy and become web developers?! I really don’t mind, so long as they follow their hearts. So then, why not inspire other adults?
There will always be clients, the right ones for you. The clients who value your experience and your skills. The clients who are loyal to you always. Competition isn’t your real issue, instead it is you that needs to concentrate on finding your perfect customers. Work on that, give everything you have to finding the clients that want exactly what you can offer them. This is especially important if you provide a service like photography. The time you spend with your clients can be incredibly intimate so finding the right fit is paramount. When we look for a service provider as a customer we always think about who is the best one to invest in but it’s equally important to find clients that are perfect for our businesses.
Focus on YOU!
It really doesn’t matter if someone charges less or more than you. It isn’t about what clients will pay, it’s about how much you need to live and to run your business successfully. So stop being afraid of your local competition, focus on you. Embrace the new, work to continually grow your own business. Find new ways to do things and never look back. The only thing we can ever change is ourselves and the way we do things, stop wasting time worrying about what everyone else is doing. Your success does not mean the demise of others. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is your less experienced self. Just look how far you’ve come already and keep on going!
And I must remember to listen to my own advice!