Balmoral Tanks Thurnscoe manufacturing facility

Commentary - 13 May 2020

Who’s zooming who?

By Jonathan Smith, Sales Director
Commentary author

By Jonathan Smith

Sales Director

Keeping abreast of your competitive horizon is vitally important, but are you being blinded by the sun?

If you, as a business, are constantly staring at the ‘shiniest’ competitor and being consumed with what they are doing you might find that your own business, and its reputation, is suffering because of it. My advice would be, pay attention, but do not pay the ultimate price.

In the tank industry, like most sectors, we find ourselves operating in close proximity to our key competitors. So, to find our competitive angles it is important we understand what we are competing against. How would we know how to win if we didn’t understand what we had to beat?

Therefore, we take time to understand what our competitors’ offer but firstly, and most importantly, we focus on our own strengths. That is key – our strengths are unique and ours alone.

For example, our new £20 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is a strength; our focus and core values connected to customer service is a strength; our acquisition strategy is a strength; our in-house Leadership Academy is a strength. You should see a common thread running through those strengths – the keyword being ‘our’.

Recently, at an exhibition, we were visited by a competitor’s business development and marketing representative. Besides the usual chat, we got talking about a more specific point, that being his company’s constant obsession with what Balmoral Tanks is doing. Was that an awkward conversation? Not really.

His response was surprisingly honest in so much as he told us he was already communicating information back to his Board, even before we had spoken.

Drilling down on this further, being preoccupied with your competitors must surely be an indirect way of saying to yourself and your business: “We are not as good as them.” It reflects a fundamental commercial insecurity.

Our message to our competition is simple: be the best you can be, but be you. Please, don’t try to be us.

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