Competition is part of running any business of any size, but how you handle your competition tells a lot about yourself and your business. Here is a short list of things not to do when dealing directly with your competition. Competition can drive any business owner over the top depending on how much of an impact the competition has had.
Do not talk bad about your competition. This is a must. Talking bad about anyone reflects badly on yourself and your business. Most people don’t like drama so don’t try to be the star of your own bad show. Competition is a reality in any business. There is no need to say bad things or untrue things about your competitors. Saying bad things about another business can move into more extreme measures to defame the competition.
The lengths some businesses go to stifle their competition is over the top. Ruining someone’s reputation, whether using print ads, social media, or the internet can land a defamation and slander lawsuit right where they don’t want it. A Facebook post which uses the name of the owner or business can be subject to harassment, defamation, slander and libel lawsuits. It is against the law period. The victim must clearly demonstrate that a false statement, claim, or harmful statement to their reputation causing damages exists. Once it is clearly established that a competitor is defaming a competitor’s business, then the victim can proceed with a court case in order to stop the damages caused by such defamation.
False reviews on review sites may be more difficult to prove in a defamation lawsuit, but it can be done if the source is listed in the bad review. Defamation, slander and libel are serious lawsuits with serious consequences. There are more positive ways to get your competition in check without slandering the competition. Just having a better product or service will stifle your competition without spending too much energy creating a possible lawsuit dropped in your lap. One famous case is author J.K.Rowling filing a defamation lawsuit against The Daily Mail claiming stress and undue hardship over false allegations. She not only won her lawsuit, but she also received an apology from The Daily Mail.
Competition can become vicious. They can say terrible things about you as an owner or say bad things about your product or service. The best way to deal with this type of underhanded competition is to simply have your lawyer call with a list of evidence and threaten a lawsuit. That usually cures the problem very quickly. It may take you some time to sift across the internet and find every instance of false claims and defamation to have it removed. Review sites, when a lawsuit is involved, are more than happy to remove the offending review. The same holds true for social media.
When dealing with your competition, keep your nose clean and your mouth shut. Never put anything in writing that could possibly be construed as slander or defamation. Stick with methods of dealing with your competition such as lowering prices, offering a better product, shifting to a niche, or offering something so original and unique that customers come flocking. Be nice and polite when you run into your competition and simply wish them good luck.