The key to getting ahead in business is to stay ahead of the competition.
If are not staying on top of what products your competitors are releasing, what prices they are setting and what initiatives they are spearheading, how do you know if you are duplicating something unknowingly, or not being innovative enough?
In this race, you need to keep your eyes not only on the finish line, but also on the competition, otherwise you will never know if you are getting ahead or falling behind.
Although some business owners spend the time to check out the competition when just starting up a business, they don’t understand the importance of running regular and consistent competitor analysis.
To get started, follow these steps:
Identify Your Competitors
Start by writing down all of your products and services in order to research which other companies you will compete with to sell those offerings.
For companies with large inventory lists, it may be more time efficient to list only the primary products, or the ones that make the most profit.
Once you have a list created, make do as a consumer, and shop around for the products or services, writing down companies which may sell the same or similar items in store or online, locally and around the world.
Write down any differences in the offerings between you and your competition, as well as price, shipping and discount variations.
Evaluate Marketing Strategies Of Your Competitors
Although it is important to be aware of what your competitors are selling and for how much, it is equally vital to understand how they find and retain their customers.
Peruse the companies’ social media accounts, visit their websites, and consider filling out new quote requests, signing up for newsletters and making other efforts to get on their contact list.
This will allow you to receive all communication that the organisations release to their clientele.
Review the articles or blogs that the competitors release, writing down relevant keywords that they use for SEO to help you compete in the online space.
Improve Your Own Tactics
After arming yourself with detailed research about what it is your competition is selling, how much they are selling it for, and how they obtain new clients and keep them loyal, you can consider how to improve your own operations to stay ahead of the curve.
However, without this information, you will essentially compete against yourself, as you will be in the dark as far as what is going on in your space.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 15 March, 2017