Competition in business is inevitable. Even if you start as the only business offering your product, sooner or later more and more people will realise that they too can make money that way, and start doing something similar. Whether your competition has opened since you started, or whether it was always there, and you were the one who thought the idea was good enough to try for yourself doesn’t really matter. The point in that competition in business isn’t something to be afraid of – it’s actually a good thing.
Who Are They?
You can use your competition to become better at what you do, but before that is possible, you need to work out who they are. If you ask most business owners, they might be able to mention one or two competitors – most likely the ones who are operating in closest proximity. The thing is, there are likely to be many different competitors. Don’t look just at the closest ones because buying online now means that many companies have a national or international reach. Don’t look at just the ones who sell exactly your product or service either; there might be something in the market that offers a good alternative that your potential customers are interested in.
Finding out what your competitors are doing is essential if you want to keep ahead of them. Look into exactly what they are selling, and how they are selling it. Take the time to look through their website and get to grips with their marketing techniques. If you are in retail and your customers have recently cut their prices by holding a sale, what discounts are they offering? Have they rebranded? Are they under new ownership? Any little change is important, and could teach you something the business you are in.
Helping Your Customers
If a company such as Eastern BMW, for example, can see what their competition is able to offer their customers, then it becomes easier to offer even more to their own clients. Keeping the customer happy means keeping loyal buyers who will come back time and again, and in turn that means not having to spend too much money in finding new customers. It is far less expensive to maintain buyers than it is to source new ones.
How Does It Help?
Knowing what a competitor has changed means you need to understand why they have changed it. Companies don’t often simply try out new things if the old way of working was bringing in sales and making profit. Therefore, it’s useful to know if there has been a shift in the market. Perhaps some industry innovations have been released, and your competitor is selling it before you are – that could make a big different to your income. Or it could be that your competitor is losing money somewhere, and is changing how they work to make up for that. This is even more interesting; you are being given free insight into how the industry is moving, and you can also change accordingly – or you could move in on a competitor’s ‘patch’ if it seems that they are failing.