If My Competition Can Do It, So Can I

4 min read

Everyone of us at one time or other has thought that “if my competition can do it, so can I.” And yet the truth is that’s rarely the case.


If you really think about it, everyone has a different situation:


  • Resources
  • Money
  • People
  • Location
  • Skills
  • Strengths
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Patience


Since we are all different in the above (partial) list, it’s usually unreasonable to think we can copy the same features, options, and traits of whatever your competitor is doing. It’s typical of most of us that see something that looks successful from the competition, to want to duplicate it.

What we don’t know is:

  • how much money is invested?
  • what resources did they have to use?
  • does it even fit “your” business style?
  • how effective is it (ROI)?
  • should your company associate itself with that idea or concept?

We all can think of products or services that are almost identical in general concept. Think cell phones, computers, ridesharing, food delivery services, and many more. Sometimes the basics are similar, but when you look closely, it’s apparent the products or services are totally different.

Here’s an example of similar – but different:


Asphalt shingles, metal roof, slate, rubber roof, solar tiles, clay tiles, and others

These are all roofing materials, but some roofing companies only offer one specific   type because that’s their skill or comfort level. And, YES, it’s still roofing, but NO, it’s not similar. OK, I’ll grant you that the materials are still called roofing, but there’s a huge difference in quality, style, looks, warranty, and installation process.

The strategy that each company uses to market, sell, deliver, and install these different roofing materials is almost always unique to the individual company.


Since we are talking about roofing, I recently (after Hurricane Irma) had to have a new roof installed. We interviewed a couple roofing companies and found a dramatic difference. They were all offering 35-year asphalt shingles, and one offered a synthetic underlayment, promoting the much better qualities and longevity.

We opted for the better shingles and the synthetic underlayment but were greatly disappointed for another reason. The installers were sloppy, crude, careless, and in such a hurry that they had to be called back three times by the building inspector. Even worse was their customer service!

Just one example of their poor service – the installers got “tar” all over our beautifully finished custom driveway. And when I pointed that out to the manager, he said “well, that happens, it is a construction site after all.” He refused to clean it up or attempt to make it right.


Stop worrying about copying your competitors. Sometimes (usually all the time), the quality of customer service is far more important than what products or services you provide. In the case of water damage services, water extraction can be done many different ways. Setting the right expectations and providing the best customer service possible will ultimately be the most important part of what you do.

Don’t get caught up in the whirlpool of “if my competition can do it, so can I.”  It rarely works out the way you had hoped it would.


Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

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