Chuck McKay, at Advertising Made Simple has a great post about how nearby competitors can help you increase your business. He writes:
Knowing you’re being compared to a direct competitor should help you to focus on providing a better shopping experience for your existing customers. That will make your company more attractive to prospective customers as well.
Excellent point, Chuck. To see this in action, read this Austin American-Statesman restaurant review of Andiamo, an upscale Italian restaurant in Austin, TX. A recent opening of the Domain, a shopping center catering to the wealthy brought in several new competitors. Read how Andiamo is responding.
Once again, it boils down to the relationships you create with your customers, employees, vendors and others in a position to help you improve your business.