Dear Aunty B
I run a medium sized business and one of my customers has just morphed into a competitor – their new release online products are quite similar to ours.
But they claim our relationship should not change and I am looking at the partnership in the wrong way. I, in turn, feel deceived, but I don’t want to turn them away as a customer. Who is right?
Confused… yeah, me too. Online is like The Faraway Tree (Gen Ys – look it up).
Everything is not as it seems and worlds are constantly changing. Look at the online giants Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay – on some deals they control markets, and on others it’s lawyers at 40 paces.
I suspect that you are an older Aussie gent who comfortably presides in the world where a friend is a mate and everyone else is your enemy.
I would also bet money that your competitor is a woman (women understand networking, alliances and online) or a Gen X (ditto), and that they are probably quite right.
Peter Drucker (Gen Ys have a lot of homework to do today) was fond of telling anyone who would listen to ask the “not” question.
When building a company ask who is NOT your customer.
Now if the company qualifies as a customer, how big a problem is this “competing product?”
I would suggest you focus on making sure your product is far better, which should satisfy your aggressive, beat ‘em to a pulp tendencies.
Do keep an eye on them to ensure a suite of competing products are not on the way.
But chill. These days – and particularly online – you have to look at customers deal by deal, and day by day.
What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!
For more Aunty B…
“How do I market my new business with no money?”
“I’ve been attacked online. What do I do?”
“How can I tell if a foreign firm is legitimate?”
“It’s the shortest day and I’m tired of the grind”
“What should I outsource?”
“I am facing a gorilla of a competitor”
“How to I say no to pay rises but keep my staff?”
“Why can’t my logo be purple? What are my IP rights?”
“How can I cope with Gen Y know-it-alls?”
“My revenue is flatlining. Should I export?”
“Is my general manager blokey or sexist?”
“I am 46, web-unsavvy but run a web business. Help!”
“My Gen Y staff want to do a 360 degree and review my performance”
“How can I create a lifestyle with company money without becoming Christopher Skase?”
“My branch offices have an inferiority complex. Help!”
“Do I have to move my difficult staff member on?”
“My legal costs are exorbitant. Do I really need a lawyer?”
“My fellow director is in love with another company”
“Costs are blowing out. How do I turn into a tight arse?”
“What can I do about an employee’s bad breath?”
“What is the best way to ‘move on’ a nice person?”
“Will redesigning my website hurt my Google ranking?”
“My 2-I-C has become a problem? What can I do?”
“I’m feeling old… do I need a business coach?”
“What can I ask a potential recruit?”….