One of the most vital, though sometimes challenging, factors of operating an effective organization is knowing every detail you can gather about your competitors, their marketing and business techniques, how they pay their workers, how they handle the company. There is a lot to know about this than simply creating an aggressive analysis that shows who your competitors are and how they are operating. Observing the adversaries should be a continuous, developing activity, one that can essentially make you like the proverbial flies on the wall — viewing, listening to and taking into consideration the information.
However, you do not have to walk around with an invisible recording device to collect useful information about your competitors. If you search hard enough, then you will discover exactly what you want without breaking the laws and crossing the moral barriers. Study thoroughly beforehand to see what you need to know or how to obtain it.
1. Understand Who the Competitors Are
Sure, this appears to be quite simple, but you will have to go beyond the apparent details to get useful answers to these questions. Take into consideration not only the businesses that offer the same items and solutions as your firm provides, but also the ones offering services that meet the same or identical client needs.
Let us say that you own a fitness gym, but there is also a yoga exercise location right down the road. Both give the same treatments to their customers: getting in shape while feeling excellent. However, it is not the same business service, so it is simple to believe that you are not going for the same clients. Getting the big picture of your opponents can make the job more complex, but it is important to point your focus on the targeted market.
2. Evaluate the Competition’s Business Culture
All business organizations, whether they are big or little, have their own corporate culture and this set of habits will help you understand the strategy of competing against them. Look initially at the competitors’ websites, which are good locations to comprehend about the company’s main lines management, observe if they do pro bono and charitable events, discover images of the organization’s workers and their actions and choose a number of corporate features.
3. I Spy with My Little Eye
You can also be present at their professional conferences and conventions where you are likely to meet your business opponents. Try to pay attention as you discuss and you will understand their intentions that way. Especially, listen to the way the competition discusses about its co-workers and business partners. Getting an excellent study regarding a firm’s culture will take some time. Once you a clear idea of the business’ „personality”, see if there is something you can understand about it and, if it is an appropriate strategy, integrate into your own organization.
4. Make an Inventory
Always it is important to know what services and products your competition offers, either now or in the future. You do not need to rob them of the business tricks to do that, you only need to be interested about it. For example, listen carefully to what different persons are saying at social gatherings, since it is an amazingly excellent method of collecting information. Studying your competitors in the media or on the Internet, like social media and various web logs — often results in exciting and useful trend ideas.
5. Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd
It is also crucial to distinguish your company from others by giving products or services that will entice the customers in ways that the competitors cannot. This organization feature makes your company unique. Yet, after evaluating what separates the firm from the others, you must also recognize resemblances. Your leads may like specific aspects about your competitors, and if you can give them the same treatment, or even better, services or products, you could win them by your side.
6. Look Who is Talking
For your little company, reputation is everything. This is why it is very important to have under observation the competitors’ reputation and secure your own.
When you conduct an aggressive analysis, have a file with what you are hearing about your competitors. This should not contain only what the public is saying — online, in magazines or on the news— but also what the opponents are saying to and regarding each other.
7. Follow Their Leader
If the competitor’s manager is planning to talk, for example, try to be present at the event and be interested in how the other participants react. You can obtain some important info by listening to both to experts and to the persons who have to say only excellent things. Though, be cautious: you never have to be heard bad-mouthing your competitors, since you always can understand more by listening rather than discussing.
8. Act as a Potential Customer
One of the greatest methods to be familiarized with your competitors is to be their client — or act like one. Placing yourself in the role of a client is always an excellent exercise in exploring the market. Search your competitors’ web sites (not just their home page), and find out about all the online or offline marketing. Study anything you can get your hands on, like web logs or articles. If it is possible, act like a mystery client, so that you can examine a competitor’s services and products. Pay interest to the things you are interested in or what is not functioning properly in the company.
9. Evaluate the Benefits
It is important to know your competitors’ items and solutions, but the analysis will not be efficient if you do not see how they treat the employees. Are workers there considered the most respected asset? What type of vacation advantages do your opponents offer? Or what about their health insurance coverage or fitness programs?
You could find out that one opponent is better than another at maintaining its workforce and your job is to discover why. Do any of them motivate their people to take enough breaks during the working schedule? What about the free coffee or food? Some firms make serious efforts to build homelike surroundings that motivate cooperation and improved efficiency. Is this one of the things you are ready to do?
10. Become a Trend Spotter
In inclusion to creating an overview of what your adversaries are up to, you too must keep up with the direction they are going to. Watching your competition following different trends can help you stand above the rest with your own improvements. Let us say you have a relatively flourishing shop, and you notice that another shop now provides maintenance solutions.
Maybe you have heard that a third shop now offers additional gifts to their products or is testing new special offers. This does not mean that you must actually adhere to these practices, but you should consider alternative methods to improve your own business. You must also pay interest to where the opponents are marketing. Lastly, do not think twice to look at what other companies are doing to entice their clients, even if you do not compete against them directly. You will be amazed at how efficient and simple it is to look at strategies from other sectors to help you gain success in your own line of business.