It is thrilling to know that you can take some of the mystery out of running your business by looking at the way your competitors do things. Entrepreneurs are often ego driven creatures. After all, it takes a certain amount of hubris to start your own business enterprise and offer your products and services to the world. While that ego has great benefit and can help one succeed in business, it is important not to let ego keep you from looking at lessons you can learn from your competitors. I have a client who started a business providing a utility service in an area where that type of service was new. There were a few competitors, but more than enough business to go around. My client and his partner were smart, educated and full of energy. They should have been able to succeed at this or any other venture they attempted. However, their business failed. They failed in part because they did not look at their competitors as potential teachers. The competitors had been in the business a year longer and were successfully serving customers while my clients were wondering how to get clients and how to service the few clients they had.