As a solo flyer you are physically limited by time, only 1440 minutes per day to achieve your goals. Yes you may pull a few all nighters here and there, though unless you are outsourcing you have simply capped your capacity to work and serve your clients. So what are your options?
As a management accountant, and solo flyer, I am fortunate to keep in close contact with my ‘competitors' both locally and nationally. Without them I doubt I would be able to offer and maintain the service I do.
I use them as a sounding board, as a technical resource, support during busy times, and back-up for when I go on holidays. My role typically involves a lot of problem solving, and using my competition as a sounding board for clients issues / case studies can save a massive amount of time, in a time poor environment. I just received a manual in the mail from competitor G who went to a conference and picked up some extra manuals and thought I would like some. Yes thanks ...they came in very useful. I try to offer them similar assistance to them when they need it ~ the call I took at 7:30am this morning was from competitor P help I am installing a new upgrade at a clients site, what should be aware of? I was happy to answer. I just sent a text to Competitor J Do you know your email is bouncing? And I forwarded an e-newsletter to Competitor M that I thought would be of interest to her.
I keep abreast of competition in my area, and drop an email to anyone new who has popped up on the horizon. Yes there are certainly some competitors that I do not share with. If I feel uncomfortable with their modus operandi, or the relationship is weighted in one direction, I will keep my distance.
However if I visit a clients site and learn they have previously dealt with my competition, someone whose work I have confidence in, and the client starts rattling off a list of complaints about that consultant alarm bells ring. Experience has taught me that a client who complains may have unrealistic expectations, may not be receptive to receive and act on specialist advice, or may simply be a whinger.
Good reliable competition is an invaluable resource that I welcome with open arms. What relationship do you have with your competition? Do you see your competition as friend or foe?