Do you spend a lot of time worrying about the competition? It’s natural if you do. After all, a good part of your spa or massage practice business no doubt comes from clients who were dissatisfied with another provider. And of course it’s a two way street. You lose clients for any number of reasons who choose to go elsewhere.

While you need to be mindful of your competitors, at the end of the day, your business isn’t about being better than another provider. It’s about being the best provider possible to meet your clients’ needs. That’s why you want to focus on getting to understand your clients and their expectations whether it’s a treatment to hydrate the skin or a massage to help alleviate stress. Your goal should be to learn as much as possible about each client’s problem so you can tailor solutions and recommend at-home products that will provide continued benefits in between visits.

If you still find yourself spending too much time thinking about the competition, blogger Laura Staples offers some excellent tips to change your mindset in "5 Simple Steps to Stop Worrying about the Competition and Start Building Your Business," Among her suggestions, Staple advises:

  • There’s plenty to go around

    I particularly like this recommendation. There’s plenty of business to go around, especially if you do your marketing and identify specific targets. Among them are first time clients – someone who has never considered a massage or wrap or scrub. There are potential clients in our considerable aging population. Sports enthusiasts should be considering your massage services to enable them to continue to pursue athletic excellence. It’s wonderful to have clients walk through the door but you’re missing out on a lot of new business if you’re not setting your sights on the types of clients you want who are excellent for repeat business.

  • Focus on your success and don’t be discouraged by others

    It’s pretty hard to live in a vacuum these days with so much information offered on social media, thousands of cable channels, 24/7 news and reality TV shows that seem to thrive on a highly competitive spirit. You can feel like the ‘biggest loser’ sometimes if you’re not top dog. But you need to look beyond all that hype, which a lot of it is, and focus on your wins of which there are many. The fact that you started your own spa or massage practice already is your first stop into the winner’s circle. Be proud of your accomplishments.

  • Learn from your competitors

    Think of all the successful companies that took someone else’s idea and improved on it – Apple being one of the most famous. Find ways to learn from competitors to help improve your own offering.

I’d offer one more suggestion to these and it’s from my own personal experience. When it’s possible make your competitors your collaborators. You may compete in certain areas of your business and complement each other in others. Maybe you can refer types of business or co market. It’s a win/win when you turn competitors into partners.

So think about the competition – but don’t them get in the way of you getting ahead.