In military parlance, “disrupting enemy supply lines” describes a common tactic used to slow down your enemy’s assault. If you cut off the fuel that makes their army run, you stop that army dead in its tracks.
The same tactical reasoning can hold true in business. Just like you, your competitor relies on an array of suppliers to fuel his enterprise. Be it seafood delivery, auto parts, medical waste pick-up or human resources – if you disrupt their accessibility to these resources you can severely undermine their ability to operate a competitive business.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not advocating you sabotage an internet connection or hijack a bread shipment. That would be illegal and fall outside of the “Rules of Engagement” covered earlier.
But there are however certain maneuvers (all of them legal) that can be explored to hobble your competitor. Streamline your hiring process so that you have access to quality personnel before someone else does. Sign exclusive arrangements with the best suppliers that prohibit them from selling to your competitor. Subtly inform your landlord that future negotiations will get sticky if they decide to lease space to your rival.
Recognize that while effective, these types of tactics are not going to win the war outright. They can, however, provide headaches for your competitors and slow down their advance in the marketplace – providing you time to “counter attack” and grab share.
TORPEDOES IN THE WATER
How many “hits” can your company take?
PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, DECEPTION (Use ‘em!)
Your competitors will believe most of what they hear
You have enough to worry about – don’t shoot yourself in the foot
DISRUPT THE ENEMY’S SUPPLY LINES
Cut off the “fuel” that feeds your competitor’s business