I’ve written before about the importance of keeping an eye on the competition. If you struggle to get motivated or find that the development of your site is stuck in a rut, you may benefit from imagining that you have an aggressive competitor.
Adopt real world strategies in the online world
Many developed economies have long since sold their state run monopolies for the simple reason that competition encourages innovation and efficiency. If you are running a site in a niche with minimal competition and are enjoying success, you will more than likely be less motivated to add new features and invest time in innovating and improving your site.
Even if you do have competition but are disheartened because you feel it is an impossible struggle for you to match the successes of those competitors, you can still imagine you have an aggressive competitor who is at the same stage of site development as you are.
As I have said before, you need to pick realistic competition. If you run a web directory with a few hundred listings, you should not consider Yahoo! or DMOZ as your competition – rather, you should look at other sites of similar size to your own in your niche.
Encourage the survival instinct
If you feel under threat, you will always react in some way. If you are threatened in the street, your body will kick in the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. You will take one of the two options. You should think the exact same way about the survival of your website. An aggressive competitor could destroy all that you have worked to achieve – you have two options; fight (for your members and for your site), or flight (throw in the towel and accept defeat).
Ideally, you should always be working to improve and tweak your site regardless of the competitive threat. Unfortunately it is all too easy to lose motivation or interest in further development of your website without this threat. If you are in this position, ask yourself what you would do today if you had a competitor with a large budget and a huge motivation to destroy your site. If you would still do nothing, perhaps you should sell your site. If you would fight for the survival of your site, then work out what you would do in that situation and do it today.
You should always be developing your site for tomorrow – today hardly counts. Today is the day you invest time in your site in order to reap the benefits tomorrow. Today you know where you stand. Today you know how many competitors you have. Today you know how many visitors your site is getting. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Get rid of idleness by imagining you have a competitor hell-bent on your site’s demise – if that doesn’t get you working, then nothing will!