While the two tennis greats were friends behind the scenes and their
friendship is still going strong today, the on-court adversaries played
When asked what effect their rivalry had on their careers, they both
responded that it made them better competitors. “It made our careers
longer and better,” said Navratilova. “I don’t think either of us would
have lasted as long without the other.” Added Evert: “It gave us
inspiration and a lot of incentive to work harder and try to continue
Think about your own situation, and how your local competition affects
certain aspects of your business. Having competitors makes you want to
work harder to beat them out. Competition gives you more motivation to
excel, makes you work smarter, think more proactively and sharpen the
pencil a little more, doesn’t it?
I’m sure you monitor what your competitors are doing in terms of
advertised specials, services offered, customer service incentives,
shop improvements, and the like. You probably hit your competitors’
websites regularly, or should be, to see what they are promoting,
saying, doing and changing.
Back to the magazine article, both players commented on what it takes to be a champion.
Explained Evert: “The mental part of the game. A lot of players were
faster and stronger, but I think being able to just zero in and focus
was my strength.” Navratilova added: “I think the ability to fail. Not
being afraid to put it all on the line and come up short. Most people don’t have that.”
Think about ways to hone your competitive edge. Create advertising
campaigns that fit your market and adequately convey your message.
Exceed your customers’ expectations and win their loyalty for repeat
service. Consider ways to add more value with each repair/rebuild.
Evaluate every aspect of the way you do business, to see where
improvements or enhancements can be made. Survey your customers to get
their feedback about their service experiences. Capitalize on the
things you’re doing right and take seriously any constructive criticism
they may offer.
Use competition to your advantage to foster continuous innovation and
improvement at your shop. That way, you’ll be the yardstick against
which others measure their success.
Mary DellaValle is editor of Import Car, an Engine Builder sister publication.