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Kylie Carlson of IAWEP

Dealing with Competitors Within Your Wedding Market

Wedding expert Kylie Carlson offers tips on fending off competition in the professional wedding market.

Feeling the heat of competition can feel overwhelming or empowering--it depends on how you look at it. On one hand, there’s the fear of losing great clients to your competitors; yet it’s this fear that pushes us to grow our businesses to new heights. In many cases, competition can be a healthy motivator--but sometimes the pressure can go too far.

To start, becoming consumed by what your competitors are doing is risky business; your business should be different, and trying to play into your competition’s model strips your brand of authenticity. Stressing about competitors can also be dangerous for your mental health, so it’s best to have an idea of where others are at without going down any rabbit holes. 

At the same time, some of your competitors won’t play fair--that’s par for course and something that is present in any industry. When you’ve been around the block, you’ll find that you’ll face various challenges throughout your career--but what matters most is how you handle them.

So, what can you do if you feel bullied or left out by competitors in your market?

Know that it’s not you.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that these kinds of situations are not about the bullied but the bullies. If you haven’t done anything wrong and feel mistreated, it’s likely that the offending competitors are making up for their own insecurities.

It could be a lack of confidence in their own abilities or it might be out of pure desperation when things aren’t going great within their own business. Some people will do anything to get ahead. Recognize that it’s not on you and then move on with your business--after all, you don’t need that negativity in your life anyway.

Deal with it--after some time.

If the issue is getting in the way of your peace, you need to deal with it. Letting it fester is a recipe for it growing into a bigger problem, so it’s best to nip it in the bud when you can.

However, don’t jump to respond to any negativity until you’ve had a chance to calm down. The easiest way to respond to a slap in the face is to slap back--but in business, this is the worst thing you can do.

Take some time to mull over the best approach and, once you’ve removed the emotions from the situation, do what you need to do. If someone has been badmouthing you, confront them and ask them if there is a problem. If the problem doesn’t improve, you may consider putting legal action (such as a defamation suit) on the table to put an end to it.

Turn the negativity into positivity.

While your competitor may be in a huff about you, you can still focus your energy on growing your business. Identify the areas that could use improvement and start making a plan. See if there’s any merit to what your competitors have been saying--perhaps you can use their affronts as motivation to become even better.

At the end of the day, you need to recognize that the lies that your competitors are telling themselves are far worse than what they’re telling your clients. Insecurity is dangerous and, worse, it’s contagious; don’t let it spread into your business by giving attention to someone else’s negativity. Focusing on the stress and anger doesn’t help anyone at all, so check it at the door and continue to thrive.

All you can control is how you respond and who become in the process. If you focus on anger and resentment, you become angry and resentful. But, if you focus on love and gratitude, you become loving and grateful. Choose the right path that will take you to happiness and success.

When you’re dealing with difficult competitors in your market, it truly is a mind-over-matter situation. Your initial reaction may be to feel hurt and angry, which is completely understandable and normal. But, you have the opportunity to change your mind-set and move past the pain to find mental peace. Let them sit in their feelings and continue doing what you do best--working in your business and helping couples achieve the wedding of their dreams!

Kylie Carlson is the owner of The Wedding Academy. With seven locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.

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