You have many challenges as a small business owner. And one of them is your competitors. Your competitors are out there and hungry for your customers. In many industries the difference among businesses is not very large. If you want to stay at the top of your field, it’s important to keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing. Understanding them gets you one step closer to knowing how to deliver better value to your customers and defining your niche.
Who are your competitors?
Identifying your competitors is important before you finalize your decision about which business category and market segment to compete in.
Generally, your competitors can be identified as those companies that offer similar products or services to the same customers at similar prices. These can be either direct or indirect competitors. That is why it’s important to consider all types of competition when understanding your competitors to ensure that you have the edge over others in your industry.
For example, Qualcomm identifies Samsung Electronics Co as a major or direct competitor for electronic chips used in smartphones, laptop and tablet. However, they also face competition from companies that offer different products, but ones that supply the same service or capability, i.e. indirect competitors which are companies like Microsoft who offer devices with chip as an integrated feature. The intensity of that competition, whether direct or indirect, will affect the overall potential for success of your business. The point of this is to consider your business moves carefully, from the buyer’s point of view, all the alternatives that there are to purchasing from you. Knowing that, you can attempt to make sure that your business provides advantages over your competitors, beginning with those who are in the most directly similar to you.
Ever wonder what your competitors are up to?
What is your company doing, and what are your competitors doing? Knowledge, as they say, is power, importantly when it comes to knowing what your competitors are up to. Knowing what your competitors are doing is an important part of running a successful business. It begins with a rigorous apples-to-apples evaluation of how your organization performs relative to one or more of your rivals.
It’s always essential to know where you stand in relation to your competition. You can learn what to do from them, what not to do, and most importantly, how you can differentiate yourself from your fellow competition and carve out your own niche. If you don’t know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can’t differentiate yourself and highlight your strengths in your marketing. Which means prospects will have no reason to buy from you instead of a competitor.
Do you know what your business competitors are doing to win over customers?
What sort of things? That’s very difficult to predict. It could be irrelevant stuff you don’t have to worry about, but maybe they’re quietly launching a new product or service that is so awesome it will ruin your business. For instance, your competitors will either make a similar product in a way that makes it superior to yours, or they will undercut you on price and offer better value to the customer.
There are almost always competitors, or at least there soon will be if your business is successful. That’s not a good idea in today’s competitive market when your rivals could well be keeping their eyes on you and planning how to steal a share of your business. This is why differentiation between your brand and everyone else’s is incredibly important.
Today’s overabundance of information makes this important analysis much easier. Thankfully, there’s this thing called the internet. One of the great things about the internet is that it’s relatively easy to spy on your competitors. Now you can collect data legally and ethically and through a plethora of sources available to you. And by utilizing it you can keep track of what your competitors are up to.
How do you track their business strategy without them finding out?
While it might seem unfair given everything else you need to keep on top of in building up your business, you might want to consider devoting the time and energy into keeping tabs on your competition. Competition Research is a great way to make sure you are always offering the best product and services and a great way to get marketing ideas. Investing a little bit of time into competitive research can give you valuable intel about your rivals, their position in the market, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Competitive research, also known as competitive intelligence (CI) “is the gathering of publicly-available information about an enterprise’s competitors and the use of that information to gain a business advantage. The goals of competitive intelligence include discerning potential business risks and opportunities and enabling faster reaction to competitors’ actions and events.
Publicly-available information, in this context, refers to any information that can be legally obtained, rather than information that the business being investigated offers freely. Sources of publicly available information include — among a great number of other possibilities — company directories, legal filings and documentation from government agencies and regulatory bodies.”-TechTarget
Researching competing businesses to create a competitor profile will help you to see gaps in the market that your business can meet. It allows you to understand a range of key information about their business, including what prices they charge for their products, where they find their customers and how they advertise. For example, if your competitors do not have an online presence, you might be able to attract customers by offering your products and services online.
Understanding your competitors will also help you to develop a better understanding of your customers. Not only will you gain a better understanding of your market, but you’ll also be able to forecast trends in your industry, understand your competitors’ offerings, stay updated on competitive pricing, and find and target new customers. You can learn the reasons that customers buy from competitors as well as understanding what strategies the competition use to market to these people.