So, today I received an email from a very good client of mine after he received an unsolicited approach from a local web design company offering a “free website health check”.

Surprise, surprise, they’d rated my client’s site a lowly 3/10 and as such it had made it onto “the poor list”—whatever that is. Obviously they would also be more than happy to quote for sorting out the site or build a new one.

There are so many things wrong with this approach to gaining new business and the way they went about it that it would take far too long to list them all.

Thou shalt not covet

I’ve got a long list of loyal clients that have I’ve worked with for several years and I can proudly say that not once have I had to send an email such as this in order to gain business. Instead of spending my time sending badly written emails with broken links in them I have focused on my own work. Doing my best for the client and trying every day to be a better designer and developer as well as improving the way I run my business.

The same should go for everyone else who runs a business. Yes, you should keep an eye on your competitors to see what they’re doing but you shouldn’t let it distract you from your own core business activities.

You have no real way of knowing how successful someone else’s approach is. I’ve seen so many businesses over the years look outwardly successful only to ultimately end up reading about their bankruptcy in the paper.

Build it and they will come

Focus on your own business and your work and clients will speak for you. By the time you replicate what your competitors are doing they’re already working on their next move so stop chasing their coat tails. Lead, don’t follow.


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