IGA Global Rally Perspective
A Lesson in Competition
A message to the Alliance from…
President, Sansolo Solutions
Contributing editor, morningnewsbeat.com
Michael Sansolo is an industry consultant, speaker, author and frequent contributor to The Independent View. Today, Sansolo shares insights about developing a competitive strategy that highlights your strengths.
It’s a fact of life that IGA retailers daily face off against larger competitors, frequently with deeper pockets, sophisticated support systems and a wide range of advantages. So it’s always useful to celebrate and learn from the triumphs of underdogs in any field.
Only today, let’s consider an under-horse.
The recent Preakness Stakes, one of the famed Triple Crown horse races, was won in shocking fashion. In advance of the race all bettors and prognosticators were aligned in their expectation that Orb, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, would easily win the second leg of the crown. Only he didn’t even come close.
Orb was beaten by Oxbow. More correctly, Orb was beaten by a group of underdogs who wouldn’t give up. His 77-year-old trainer, no longer a power in racing, designed a strategy to favor his horse. His 50-year-old jockey, who only recently un-retired, executed the strategy perfectly. Oxbow led every second of the race.
So the lesson couldn’t be clearer. First, you need a strategy for your store that emphasizes your strengths and where you can beat the competition. Be brutally honest with yourself on where you can succeed and what weaknesses need attention. If you aren’t honest, winning is impossible.
Second, make sure your entire team understands the strategy so they can execute it as best as possible. They too have to understand what’s at stake so they work with passion and dedication. Without execution a strategy is doomed to failure.
Most of all, remember to compete. Oxbow’s trainer could have pulled his horse after a sixth place finish in the Derby, but he saw a chance to win. He knew the odds were long, but he also knew—as he said in interviews—if you don’t try, you cannot possibly win.
There’s a big lesson in that, too.