There’s plenty of reasons to dislike your competitors (although jealousy seems to be the biggest factor) but with a bit of an attitude adjustment you’ll see why you should love them and what they can do for your business.
If your competitors are bigger than you then why not offer them your services? Why does it matter who sold the final product to the customer when surely the whole point of the game is to do a certain job for a certain amount of money. An example of this is when I sell my coding services to my competitors, it makes sure I’m kept in fizzy juice (and can sometimes pay the bills) and it also helps my competitors by taking the strain off their own internal resources. Then again it also means you’ll be stuck doing the grunt work but if you enjoy the work then who cares who pays the final bill!
There’s nothing like some good competition to get your brain firing. Who’s going to come up with the next best thing? Who’s going to market it best? What kind of spin can you put on that product to make it better. Without competition, companies stagnate.
Since I work in quite a geeky environment, it can sometimes be hard trying to teach your customers why they even need your product in the first place. Your competitors are probably already helping by educating their customers and leads about the product. Of course for them it’d be great if the lead bought straight from them, but quite often a customer will ask around for estimates from other companies as well. So take a moment to thank your competitors for all their hard work!
There will always be someone better at doing what you do than you are. Always. If a competitor has better products and services, if they have better equipment, better customers, better staff.. well it’s something to aspire to. You can learn a lot by stalking your competitors on their websites and social media. Learn how they do stuff, learn from their mistakes and most of all, learn their strengths and weaknesses and see if your company’s strengths and weaknesses could complement theirs.
If you can build great relationships with your competitors then it also means you can turn to them for advice. They’re in the same boat as you and have probably done it better or worse than you (either way you’ll learn something). Remember though that relationships go both ways so don’t keep pestering them for advice when you can’t offer them anything in return.