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Competitors

Nobody tells more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his fatherís store.
C. Wright Mills


Competition occurs when organizations seek to defend their position or do better than their peers.  This may be holding on to or gaining market share, obtaining resources (skilled staff, access to funds, land, etc.) or being at the top of league tables.

T
he marketplace: Competitors come in a variety of guises:
Established competitors are the traditional players in a sector.  Each one knows the products, services and strategies of the others and each has usually found a niche in the market.  Industry leaders General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have been slugging it out for 70 years.
New entrants
continually enter market sectors, often with loss leading prices or innovative ways of marketing their products or services.  They may have a disrupting effect on the existing players, as with a National Lottery and charities, Airbus and the market for large passenger aircraft, Lexus and the prestige car market.
Providers of alternatives
do not compete with a similar product or service but provide something different which still satisfies the same need - CDs replacing tapes and gramophone records, and personal computers replacing typewriters.

Resources: 
Resources which are in limited supply also induce a competitive environment. Organizations compete for finance, skilled people, space, location, water, etc. Charities compete for the attention and money of the public and attracting staff.

League tables: 
Many non-profit organizations compete with each other on a pride and reputation basis rather than for market share - local government (level of taxes), schools (examination results) or hospitals (survival rate of operations).

Lateral thinking: 
Competition comes from unlikely places - the alternative to a Mercedes could be a yacht or race horse, rather than a BMW - is the customer looking for a means of transport or a demonstration of wealth?  Londonís St Paul's Cathedral gets half its funds from tourists and finds that its biggest competitor is the River Thames cruise boats and a fine, sunny day! >>>