There was a time, not long ago, where many suggested that competition was healthy, leading to innovation and creativity. However, it's no longer enough to merely compete. To succeed in today's business world, you must dominate your sector.
There's a very distinct difference between competition and domination. Competition is a struggle in pursuit of a goal. Domination is to influence and control everything around you. Consider these companies that once dominated their industries, and today are competing to stay in the game: BlackBerry, Sears, Kmart. GM and Microsoft.
Do you want to struggle and pursue or do you want to influence and control?
Do What Others Won't Do
When you seek to dominate a sector, start with something you know you can own. The great Jack Welch is famous for saying, “If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." Find a way to dominate a space and be original. How? Make a list of what your competitors aren't doing and then do it.
Here's an example of how I spun competition into domination in one of my businesses. I own 2,000 rental units around the U.S. One of the properties was being held back to terms offered by other properties in the same area. I asked the management company to give me a list of everything the competition wasn't willing to offer. The most obvious thing was a 12-pound pet limit. We quickly saw how we can be different. By enclosing all ground level units with fences, were were able to dominate by offering units to tenants with dogs of all sizes. I quickly found out that occupants are willing to pay more to have a place for their Rottweillers, Great Danes or Mastiffs.
Regardless of your size and budget, you can always find a way to dominate some part of your sector once you commit to the concept. Let's say you want to advertise but have a limited budget. Do the absolute most you can. Cover the neighborhood, blanket it and smother it, and use every means possible—postcards, mailers, letters, emails, even knock on doors if you have to. Repeat the activity until you are the go-to person in that locale in that industry and no one else wants to play in your space—then expand.
Companies like Apple and Starbucks started out small with the goal to develop loyal customers. Now they're worldwide leaders with people willing to wait in line to pay a premium. The companies who fully own their spaces traded competition for domination.
An easy first step to domination is to do what others in your industry are refusing to do. Most companies have norms and traditions that limit them. Take the salon business for example; it's notorious for not being open on Mondays—an obvious opportunity. Seize this opportunity, and you'll be creating your own unfair advantage and be well on your way to dominating your space.
Become An Expert, Exploit Social Media
Another way to dominate is to become the known expert in your space. Four years ago I didn’t have a Twitter account, but once I created one, I decided to own the space for sales and business advice. About 37,000 tweets later, I have close to 250,000 followers and a number of social media experts have ranked me #1 sales coach (@GrantCardone) to follow on Twitter.
Social media offers great opportunities for the dominating mindset because it's inexpensive and doesn't have usage limits. I posted more than 1,000 sales training and coaching videos on YouTube. My so-called “competitors” thought I was an idiot giving away free content like that. Can you guess where most of my business comes from today?
Think differently. Look at what everyone else is doing and blaze a new trail. That's how you dominate.
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