Competition is normal for most small business owners. Ruthless competition is not. What lengths will competitors go to sink an opponent. Let’s look at some common underhanded and ruthless ways a business owner might stifle their competition. There is a dark side to business, and it is all about making more money.
The slander campaign is the number one way a ruthless business owner will use to sink their competition. They may start to spread the word about how bad their product or service is. Let’s take two restaurants as examples. Both serve American cafe style food. Both are of equal quality and service. One has a ruthless business owner. He first puts the word out to his employees telling them that their food isn’t fresh. His employees begin to tell others that the competitor’s restaurant isn’t clean, and the food is never fresh. They tell their friends and so on. This is the slander campaign. If it isn’t put into writing, it is very difficult to prove in a court of law. The other restaurant can send a cease-and-desist letter from their lawyer. Often times, this is enough to kill the slander campaign.
The slander campaign can spill over from word of mouth to outright attacks on social media or review sites. In this case, if your business is the target of a slander campaign and you have concrete proof, file a slander and libel lawsuit against all offending parties. You can also sue for damages if you can prove that you lost customers due to a slander attack on social media. Review sites may be more difficult to prove slander, but you can take action against a slew of bad reviews that you feel are unwarranted. Contact the site first and see if you can get the bad reviews removed.
If your business happens mostly on the internet, the ruthless business owner can hire hackers to destroy your online presence. When someone is obsessed with taking you out, and not to lunch, you could end up with a big problem on your hands. Underhanded tactics to destroy business has been happening since the dawn of capitalism, but the law tries to keep these heinous practices under control.
The slander campaign could also go against the accuser. If the quality of the food and service is good, and everything the competition has to say is false, then it can make the slanderers look bad and lose business. The ruthless business owner might end up eating his own words in the end or get sued. Most people don’t like it when someone is saying something bad about another person or establishment without credence or proof. The accusatory nature of the slander campaign is enough to send good people in another direction, perhaps towards the target restaurant if it is seen as unjustified.
Steps can be taken to keep your business safe from ruthless competitors. Make sure your office is safe and secure. Your network and computers should have the best security. You online presence needs to be protected with Kevlar. If you are being slandered in print, file a slander, libel, and defamation lawsuit along with damages. Lawsuits are always a good deterrent. If you don’t have proof and it is all slander by word of mouth, then simply get your lawyer to send a cease-and-desist letter.
Let customers know immediately if your site is down due to an attack. You never have to give your customers the reason for your site being down. You can simply say you are updating to keep your customers out of the fray. Contact the appropriate authorities if a crime has occurred.
Changing locations could be the only real solution if the ruthless business owner against you is relentless and his campaign is more effective than your business can handle. The idea is to get off the competitor’s target list. Creating a niche is a good way to remove the competition and not have to physically move your establishment. It also diffuses any attacks when you are not doing the same exact type of business. Pushing your business into a niche and specializing is the best way to remove relentless ruthless competition.
Stay transparent and honest. Don’t engage. Keep your establishment open, honest and friendly. Never say a bad word publicly about the ruthless business owner. Always take the high road and keep you head high, your nose clean, your mouth shut, and your focus on your business, not other’s business. Your customers will appreciate your open, friendly, honest atmosphere where they are always greeted with a smile, and not a snarl.