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Want Your Business to Succeed? Learn from Your Competitors

Sometimes the best pieces of advice don’t make sense right away. And that’s certainly the case with billionaire Tom Golisano’s wise tip for entrepreneurs about handling competitors.

Delving from his own experiences building a successful business from the ground up, the Paychex founder is a firm believer that one doesn’t need to disparage their rivals in order to succeed. In fact, they should embrace them instead. Here are some convincing reasons why young entrepreneurs should take his advice.

Building a Good Reputation

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Going against people’s expectations, Golisano chooses to compliment the competition. Why? Well, it’s all about building a good reputation and a trustworthy image for one’s potential customers. Neither of these things can be achieved by demeaning competitors.

At the end of the day, people would want to patronize businesses they can trust and have a good view of. Not only that, but maintaining one’s integrity will also give employees or team members reason to respect a company’s leader and make them have pride in their work.

A Learning Opportunity

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Instead of trying to bad-mouth a rival, one can choose to turn their focus towards more productive endeavors. For one, they can put their attention on evaluating exactly what they’re coming up against by studying competitors.

Doing so would prepare a business owner to further push their services or products to have more features or benefits for the consumers. It would also allow them to stay ahead of the competition as they won’t be able to change up their offerings as quickly.

Golisano practiced this tactic with Paychex when he decided to set his company’s prices a bit lower than that of similar businesses in the payroll services niche while still being able to rake in profits. He made this move knowing how much his competitors charged their customers, which was actually public knowledge at the time.

The Benefit of Having Good Competition

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Having competitors can also help an entrepreneur when it comes to differentiating their company. For example, Golisano looked to his then-startup company’s biggest rival when he was just entering the scene.

At the time it was ADP that dominated the market so he used it as a way to highlight what Paychex is. Because the former is the leader in large-company payroll processing, the latter is the leader in small-business payroll processing. That said, Golisano believes that having competition is good and having good competitors is even much better.

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