“On your mark…get set….” and off went the whistle. While some were sprinting away, a few were jogging, smartly conserving their energy to be able to complete the 1500m race. This was Tolu’s strategy and he came out first position beating the 2nd runner-up with about 5 seconds.
It is not a secret that Tolu is the best in the state and competing again with others in his state wasn’t such a big deal for him anymore. He began to feel like he was better than others and none of them were good enough to be friends with him. Gradually, he started feeling like a loner.
As the national competition drew near, Tolu’s spirit was again lifted as he was looking forward to meeting other high-placed athletes. Still, with the mindset as overall best, Tolu took his position on the track with the “best” from other states. When the whistle went off, Tolu used his usual strategy but he noticed that at almost the last lap, about 3 people were ahead of him in the race.
He tried to add speed but he couldn’t do much and came out 4th position. This motivated him to break out of his comfort zone, practice harder and meet up with the new standard that has been set for him. Soon he realised a healthy competition brings out the best in him.
A lot of entrepreneurs have different views on how to run their business. While some opt for the monopolistic way, others like me feel a healthy competition is better.
Monopolized businesses are typified by lack of competition and this causes them to do things however they like such as engage in unscrupulous behaviours, set high prices for customers, produce inferior products/services etc. Using dominance to their advantage and at the expense of others, such businesses can toy with customers emotions by deliberately creating issues.
Examples of such can include artificial scarcities of the product or service, inflation of prices etc. This causes whatever rule they give to stand in the market so much so that other competitors in the same niche are unable to meet up or even succeed. Though these businesses accumulate more profit, soon, they are unable to make an economic profit and this makes it inefficient too.
Perfect competition causes a particular product or similar brands to be surplus in the market so much so that if a particular shop increases the price of that particular product, the customer in a swift move, checks out the nearest store with the same product but for a lesser price. Customers are quick to purchase products or services from businesses at affordable prices.
However, in my opinion, a healthy or perfect competition has not been known to hurt any business instead it creates economic efficiency. Competition pushes you to not only break out of your comfort zone but to become very creative and innovative in a bid to outbid your competition. This causes you to create products/services of great quality and to always want to improve on them as the times evolve.
Among smartphones, for example, Apple stands out not because it is a monopolistic business but because it evolved from loads of multiple major competitors. While they may be topnotch, Samsung takes the lead in the most bought smartphones in the market. Apple thrives on constant innovation and creativity and not so concerned with eliminating its competitors.
Ries and Trout said, “It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace” and Howard Cosell said, “The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and you have gotten the most of what you had to give”.
Therefore, I am of the opinion though that healthy competition is the best business success checker for any entrepreneur while monopoly isn’t all that. What do you think?
PHOTO CREDIT: Jan Jansen