Knowing one’s competitor is the key to success for a business – whether big or small – according to Jack Welch.
“If you know what your competitors are doing you will know your own business at your fingertips. When I was at General Electric, our competitors such as Siemens gave us hard times, but we were constantly playing this game. We always tried to predict their next step and position ourselves accordingly,” said Welch, who is in Dubai for the Winning Strategies Forum.
According to the renowned former CEO and author of management guides, an entrepreneur has to know what the playing field looks like to succeed in business. “You have to know your competitors in business, large and small, new and old. You must be aware of the share of each, globally and in each market, and judge your own standing in this frame.”
Defining the characteristic of the business is also very important in competition. “You have to understand if it’s a commodity or high value of the competitor that’s driving the growth. You should be thorough with the strengths and weakness of your rival, his products, sales force and his customers. Has he changed the playing field by introducing some products or service? There are many things you need to know about your rival.”
Once you get to know your competitor, it’s time to do some self-assessment, said Welch. “What have I been up to when my competitors were moving ahead? Did I try to change the playing field, have I introduced new products, have I acquired some firms, lost competitive advantages that I once had? A leader should have answers to these questions,” he said.
Key to succeed in business is knowing one’s rivals