It’s No Time For Celebration When A Competitor Goes Bust

I remember asking the president of a drug company a few years ago about his competition, and he told me, “I know them all and they make me stronger.”

I didn’t quite get it at the time, but he ‘s right.  Competition makes you stronger and sharper.

They help you differentiate yourself. They help you find your niche.

When we first started the gallery, we had many of the same artists  and works as another gallery.  I thought we were doing the right thing, associating ourselves with established artists.  In some ways, it did help us when we first started.

But many customers told us they had seen the same works somewhere else.  They wanted to see something different in our gallery. A gallery must have it’s own taste, and we did develop our own taste and style over time.

Actually every business must figure out a way to be different than the others. And it’s the competition and the customers that help you find out what is unique about you and your business.

So when I got word last week [and it may be just a rumor] that one of my competitors was going out of business, I was a bit sad.  Not happy in the least.  I know how hard he worked.  I know how he helped me when I first got started. And I know how we differentiated ourselves from him.

The  galleries in the area also bring people to the neighborhood and invariably, some visitors to his gallery would stop by at ours as well. So, it’s a loss for us.  I’m not happy  to see him go.  It’s actually sad news.

Hopefully it’s just a rumor and he’ll be around for a while.

When a competitor goes bust, it’s not necessarily good for your business.  Unless you are fighting over the exact same customers.  Even if you are, when they go bust, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those clients will come to you.  Those customers might disappear altogether. If you’re in a small business, that means one less player making and expanding the market for your goods and services.


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  1. Christian says:

    How true! There is little to be gained from a failing competitor. It could signal the start of a negative revenue trend, causing clients and employees unnecessary worries, and, ultimately, it creates a negative perception, such as ‘this business model does not seem to work, we better stay away from it’. Recently, a client talked to me about his relationship to other firms. He enjoyed the fact that there was more than one advisory firm, and, I am sure that, silently, he enjoys watching us competing for his business.