Study Your Competition
June 21, 2022
Do you know what your competition does, how it markets, its strengths and weaknesses? If you don’t know, you should know. Obviously, you should know everything there is to know about your own business, but it is vitally important to also know as much as possible about your competition.
Without knowing the details about your competition, you are at a loss when battling for customers and their dollars. You are basically unprepared. On the other hand, when you keenly observe your competition and monitor their actions, then you close the knowledge gap by being prepared. Understanding your competition and why customers go to a rival business rather than to your business is extremely beneficial when making future decisions.
Simpler Than You Think
Although you might think that it is an overwhelming task to learn about your competition, it is simpler than you think. With the Internet, competitors’ websites, social media, online reviews, and marketing campaigns, it is simpler now than ever to investigate your competition and understand exactly what they offer and services provided. You can compare the different competitors and get a feeling for what is working and not working to incorporate into your own business while deciding on even different approaches that you might want to take.
If you are not taking advantage of the multitude of information available on your competition, then you are wasting valuable resources...at no cost to you. There is no need to hire a marketing research firm when all the information about a competitor is in reach of your computer, tablet, or smart phone. When you can improve the results of your own business by learning about the competition, why not? Avoid the pitfalls that your competition has made while making your own business more successful.
Imitate What Works
Imitating what works for the competition doesn’t mean duplicating every exact detail. You certainly want your business to be unique and branded, but you can review both the industry and individual competitors to follow what works, trends, best target market, etc. If something is working for your competition, it should work for your business also. Implement what works for the competition and then make it even better.
Don’t Make the Same Mistakes
Every business makes mistakes. That is just part of being in business. When a mistake is made in your business, don’t worry about placing blame. Learn from the mistake and move on. Study and observe your competition and do the same thing. When it is apparent that a rival has made some type of mistake with pricing, marketing, products, services, website, location, etc., learn from their mistakes that can serve to improve your own operation and profitability.
Observe the Market as Well
Studying and observing the competition means observing the market as well. Is the competition hitting or missing the target market? While studying the competition, also study the effects of what you perceive to be the target market. Is the market responding to the competition and how does that relate to your business? Assuming your business and your competitor’s business are both targeting the exact same market, which business is getting a larger share of the market? Which business is growing at a faster pace? If the competition is getting ahead of you, determine why the market is favoring the competition. Then make immediate changes.
An Abundance of Information
Whether from a website, an email announcement, a free offer, or a social media post, there is an abundance of information available on almost any business...your business and that of your competition. Use this information wisely to your advantage. Your competitor might be doing the same thing. Gain whatever advantage you can by studying your competition.