There are a ton of elements that go in to running a successful competition, but perhaps the most important is knowing exactly who you want to serve.
Let’s turn to pumpkin competitions as an example.
In the book Pumpkin Plan, author Mike Michalowicz tells the story of pumpkin farmers that grow competition pumpkins that are 10x the size of you and I! They start by purchasing the best of the best pumpkin seeds – think the spartans of pumpkin seeds. As the pumpkins grow, they quickly prune off any that won’t be award-winning. This allows all the nutrients and their time to go to the potential award winners. They continue to nurture the select few until they have a pumpkin they are proud to submit for competition. Mike uses these pumpkin farmers to make a counterintuitive, yet spot on point about business—to grow your business you often need to cut your client list.
The first step he advises is to identify your seed clients.
You know those clients. The ones that you would clone if you had the technology! YOU love when they walk through the door. THEY love when they walk through the door. And of course, they love spending once they’ve walked through the door.
Once you identify these seed clients,
the next step is to figure out their needs and meet them.
You know what happens when you meet their needs?. Yes, they are happy but more importantly people that are like them will be happy. Suddenly your business is more attractive to the people you actually like to serve. Life just got better for you!
And the final step?
Cut the customers you don’t want.
This starts to happen organically because by structuring your business to serve the clients you do want, it often makes your business less attractive to the clients you don’t want. So why this quick business lesson? Simple, treat your competition the same way.
Step 1 – Identify what and who you want.
What athletes do you like to be around? Beginners, masters, elite, serious, just-for-fun, etc. What competitions do you like? Big, small, ultra competitive, relaxed, team, individual, etc.
Step 2 – Interview and think like your seed clients.
You know who you want to serve, so now talk to them. I guarantee you have some at your gym. Identify 5-10 of them and ask them a few questions:
• Why do they workout?
• Why would they compete?
• If they were going to create a competition what would it be?
• How would they make it fun and interesting?
Step 3 – Look for trends and make easy decisions!
After talking to enough seed clients you will undoubtedly find trends. With those trends as the north on your compass, decisions on how to position/differentiate your competition, structure the format, and even when/where to hold it become quite easy to make.