Friday, April 24, 2015

Want to improve your business? Analyze your competition!

One of the basic tenants of capitalism is that people seek out the latest and greatest. If you build a better mousetrap then people will beat a path to your door. After all, competition makes us look for ways to improve how we do business. Therefore, one of the best ways you can improve your business is to look to your competitors.

How can you go about researching your competitors? You can start by performing a basic Google search for keywords that your clients or customers may use. What companies are buying banner ads? What companies come up at the top of the organic search list? What competitors stand out from the rest of the pack?

You should also visit your competitors websites.
What are they doing that is
better or different and how can you utilize this information?
You should place both your company and your competitors on Google alerts so you can see when some announcement is made or to monitor what your competitors are up to and what is being said about your company.
What is being reported or done by your competitors on social media? What interesting spins or twists are your competitors using to differentiate themselves from their competitors? What is their unique selling proposition and how can you use this information to improve what you are doing and how you are conducting your business?
After looking at what your competitors are doing better, you should make a list and review those items. You need to be prepared to make changes to what you are currently doing. You should then go about determining how you can improve your marketing, customer or client service, your pricing and updating your products or services.
You need to use this information to innovate not imitate your competitors. What can you do better or how can you add more value?

You should also be attending industry trade shows. Who are the big exhibitors and what are they highlighting? What new ideas might work well in your business? What are the emerging trends and how can you keep up with them?

If you look to your most successful competitors and be willing to make changes to how you do business you can greatly improve your chances of getting more and more business, some of which will come directly from your most successful competitors. It was reported that one major fast food chain was spending millions of dollars each year in market research to determine where to build their next restaurant location. This company's largest competitor spent nothing on this type of market research but waited to find out where their competitor was building their next restaurant and then would build one directly across the street.

How can you use your competitors research and development to your advantage?
You don't need to find out about how to build a better mousetrap you just need to see how others are building theirs and then make innovative changes!



  1. Thanks Richard. I love the common sense reminders for business. It seems like often the obvious gets overlooked.