Dame Mary Perkins on why she welcomes competition for Specsavers [Video]

Without competition, businesses stop innovating, explains the Specsavers founder

Dame Mary Perkins says “you should never be afraid of competition… in fact it’s welcome, because if you’re a market leader… the danger… is that you sit back and become complacent”.

“It’s very good… to have a threat”, she explains, “because it keeps you moving forward even more… You need to keep on your toes you need to be speaking to customers, looking forwards, always innovating and bringing new things to the market” to stay ahead of rivals.

Perkins warns that “people will always copy, but if you stand still they will reach to the same level as you until they’ve cloned you and they’re exactly the same”. Competitors will inevitably copy what’s made you successful and try to undercut you, so you need to reinvent and enhance your offering to “differentiate” your business.

However, while it’s important to “know what the competition is doing”, you should “concentrate on what you do well… move the company forward… think about your own customers and your own business”.

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