Today we’re going to talk about two fast-food restaurant chains. They both serve similar products, but one makes way more money than the other. Let’s see if you can guess which one is the big winner:
Restaurant Chain #1:[unordered_list style=”tick”]
- Virtually synonymous with its product
- Thousands and thousands of locations throughout the entire country
- Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year
Restaurant Chain #2:[unordered_list style=”red-x”]
- Virtually unknown in half the country
- Fewer than half the number of restaurants as Restaurant Chain #1
- Every location closed nearly 15% of the year
Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Obviously, the chain bringing in the most money—to the tune of nearly a billion dollars more than its rival—is…Restaurant Chain #2.
YOU: “Huh? That doesn’t seem right. And you say it’s obvious?”
Well, yeah. It’s obviously going to be the counterintuitive one. Otherwise, why would I have set it up like this? You must get fooled at movies a lot.
So, if you haven’t guessed by now, Restaurant Chain #1 is KFC, and Restaurant Chain #2 is Chick-fil-A. They both sell chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. And despite all of KFC’s advantages (like, for example, the fact that every Chick-fil-A is closed every Sunday), last year Chick-fil-A outsold KFC by nearly a billion bucks, according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek.
There are a number of explanations for this: higher per-store traffic, higher average check amount, big breakfast business. Plus, they make a really, really good chicken sandwich! But I don’t really want to talk about why Chick-fil-A is so much more successful than its competitor.
See, Chick-fil-A could easily have used its disadvantages as excuses, and maintained a respectable #2 position in the fast-food chicken business. But they didn’t, and today they’re the leaders.
Your Competition Loves Your Excuses
So what about you? What disadvantages are you using as excuses?[unordered_list style=”arrow”]
- “My competition is bigger than me, and has more locations.” So does Chick-fil-A’s.
- “My competition has more name recognition than I do.” So does Chick-fil-A’s.
- “My competition is personified by an avuncular guy in a white suit and a goatee.” So is Chick-fil-A’s. [Note: this last one may not apply to your specific situation.]
Look, the point is this: you can make excuses, or you can make money.
Is it easy? Probably not.
Is it quick? Probably not.
Is it a barrel of fun? Probably not all the time.
But it is possible.
How do I—and more important, how do you—know it’s possible? Because Chick-fil-A did it.
Here’s the bottom line. You don’t lead by comparing yourself to the competition. You lead by taking care of business. Your business.