New business owners sometimes operate in fear of the competition without really knowing anything about their competitors. To remain competitive, the first thing you need to do as a business owner is to study and learn from your business competition. Before you can do that, however, you need to identify your top competitors.
How to Identify the Competition
Whether you work as a solo entrepreneur or operate a large organization, you have both direct and indirect business competition. Indirect competition may be freelancers in your general network while direct competition typically comes in the form of other businesses. Conducting an online search is the easiest way to identify your top five to ten competitors. Be sure to enter keywords related to your business, your ZIP code, and other phrases that define your business.
Once you have compiled a list of competitors, take the time to review each one’s website and visit the physical location if possible. Study the products and services offered by your business competition to see how your business is better or worse. Most importantly, you need to find a way to differentiate your company from the competition and create a value proposition statement. This is especially crucial for those starting business for the first time.
Stay Connected to Your Business Competition
Uncovering who your biggest competitors are is rewarding, but your work is far from over. You need to stay connected to these businesses by following their social media pages, signing up for email newsletters, reading press releases about the other companies, and visiting tradeshows if your competitors participate in one locally. It’s also a good idea to find out what people think about your business competition by reading online reviews and LinkedIn endorsements. Is your competition doing something customers love that your company could be doing?
Be the First to Introduce New Products, Services, or Upgrades
Even if your company doesn’t sell hot items like smartphones or computers, it’s critical to release new offerings to the public before your competition does. People are often willing to pay good money for the chance to purchase something first and have other people see them with the new or upgraded item. Investing in product research and committing to frequent upgrades is an excellent way for your company to stand above its competitors.
Consider Working Together if Both Parties Would Benefit
Even your closest competitors won’t offer the exact same things to customers or approach business in the same manner that you do. It’s possible that both companies could increase revenue by working together instead of competing against one another. However, you must broach this carefully and preferably work with a business attorney to draft the arrangements.
Not as Competitive as You Would Like to Be?
Our small business consulting firm offers coaching, planning, and other services to help those just starting business and those looking to expand to identify and explore their options. We welcome you to contact us to schedule a consultation with us today to learn more.