Competitor analysis is one of your essential tools as a business owner. Many companies still shy away from this important activity, yet it should be at the top of your list. Many spend a lot of time researching competitors when they start their new business. It helps them get a sense of the market and audience in their sector. However, once up and running, this practice falls by the wayside. Competitor research is something you should be doing regularly.
There are many reasons why this is so important. It allows you to gain a broader understanding of your industry. It helps you target the areas that you could capitalise on. It will show you when competitors have found a new route or a new audience. It gives your business clarity and direction. There really is no excuse, especially with the internet opening this practice right up. Here’s how you do it, without even leaving your desk.
The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have changed the nature of business. They have allowed instant communication between business and customers. Companies can create loyal relationships and communities around their brand. You can learn a lot from how your competitors act on social media. How are they presenting themselves? What audience are they targeting and attracting? What are customers saying about them? Take a look at the Pinterest of Today’s Growth Consultant for a good example. Whatever your business, use social media to find your audience.
Stock market history
For more established companies, make a habit of looking at their stock market position. Look into their history, especially if you’re looking to float your company soon. Look to see what wider events had an impact on their share price. Make sure you learn from this and put plans in place to avoid it. When their share price drops, it’s time to double your marketing budget and take advantage. Simple things like this help give you the edge in business.
Visiting your competitor’s website regularly should become routine. Look at how they present themselves with their design and function. Look to see if they’re presenting themselves in a new or interesting way. Find out what goals they are highlighting. Are they sending people towards sales, social media or signups? Everything about their website will have been thought out. Figure out what demographic they are targeting and look at whether you could find a niche.
When it comes to commerce companies, look at who else is stocking their products. Do they rely on Amazon, Tesco or Etsy to promote their goods? Look to the areas that they are not taking advantage of and grow your business there. Look for customer reviews and seek to address the big issues that customers have.
Competitor analysis helps you stay one step ahead of your rivals. You’ll learn from their mistakes and put plans in place to avoid them. You’ll learn more about your potential audience and find new ways to reach them. Above all, it will help you stay on trend and keep relevant.