Competition is a natural part of any business and, as an owner, it is important that to stay on top of them. The more you watch what your competition is doing to gain customers, then the better you will be able to adjust your own strategies and tactics to ensure your business does not stop growing. Here are 10 tips to help you start researching your competitors.
Google is not the only source of information you should turn to. There are a number of other sites that are dedicated to helping businesses better learn about their competition, from the keywords that they use to what the latest trends are in your specific industry. Some of these tools include SpyFu, Goole Trends, and Google Alerts.
Review industry reports
Get regular industry reports from an analyst firm, trade associations, and advocacy groups. These organizations conduct research to help determine who your real competition is, and related information, like what is popular within the industry and what customer needs are not being currently met.
Social media research
Social media is another way to gain some insight on your competition. Doing so will allow you to see how they are using their social accounts to their advantage, the kind of marketing they may be implementing, and what people are saying about them on these sites—including review sites such as Yelp.
Customers are another great source of information, and it is a cheap way to learn about your competition. Ask customers what made them choose you over a competitor, why they may not have, and what they wish companies offered.
Utilize conference insights
Trade shows and conferences can also provide insight on your competition within the industry. When you go, be sure to check out competitors’ booths to see what it is they have to offer compared to you—both in terms of overall products and services as well as their quality.
Talk to suppliers
If you and your competition share suppliers, consider talking to the supplier. If you ask the right types of questions, you can get a better idea of what sort of orders your competitors are making, which will give you a better idea of what products they restocking and selling the most of.
Consider hiring ex-employees from your competition’s sales team, as they will have an insider’s understanding of what the competition is doing and be able to suggest methods to better compete with them.
Just as you can hire their ex-employees, you want to watch who your competition hires. Knowing this will give you a broad idea of what it is they are looking to get done with a certain job. You also want to pay attention to how many people they may be hiring, since hiring more people could be a sign of them expanding their operations.
While surveys are not necessarily the most popular, they can help you to learn more about the different competitors you are facing. You can hire an outside source to send out a survey to your different competitors to ask them general questions about their products and services including prices, response time, how sales were handled, and similar questions. That way, you can better adjust your own company’s sales model to better compete with them.
Call for information
A much easier way to get information on your competition is to call them directly to learn more about how they are running their business. As long as you word the questions right, companies will answer the questions without any problems.
It is not hard to learn more about your competition, and when you put in a little effort to do so, the payoff can be huge. The more you know about how they work and handle things, the better you will be able to adjust your own business to better compete with them for customers.