Many people who are starting up a business, can’t help but to feel intimidated by the others, the competition.
Even though they have their ideas in line and are going through the process of operating their business, they can’t help but to think, “What if others are doing it already?” What if others are doing it better?” “Customers will not come because they will go to an established business.” Well, the questions, the doubts, and the nervousness will not cease very easily. So where do you go from here?
The first thing that you need to do is to identify who your competitions are – direct and indirect competitors.
Direct competitors are those that offer the same products and services and the Indirect competitors are those that offer different services but have the same objectives. These are the hardest to identify.
Choose at least three competitors (direct & indirect) – those that are succeeding and those that are barely making it. As your searching for your competitors, you will see that they will be easy to spot. Once you know who they are, check out what they are doing. No! This is not a form of stalking.
Start with social media. Look at their Facebook page, if they have one, and go over it. Is is updated? What do they have on their About section? Are they being interactive with their customers? What are their statuses about? Go over the whole page and take notes.
Subscribe to their emails.
Are their emails sent when they say they do? What is their format? What are they saying in them? Is it a sales pitch? Is the content to educate? How are they using these emails?
Are they the first ones that pop up or are on the same page? Many businesses have reviews. Read them, but don’t rely to much on them since there are some people that can be cruel and will write a bad review just to hurt the company, but yes, read them anyway.
Are they blogging?
What is their blogging content strategy? What are they writing about? Are they simply writing about other things rather than to educate their customers on their products or services? How often are they blogging? You can’t just blog once a month. You need to at least blog twice a week. Are they doing this?
Your objective is not to copy from them, but to rather get ideas that are working for them and make them better for your business. Your goal is to shine and not to criticize the competition. Anything that they are not doing well, you offer it in a bigger and greater way.
Knowing your competition’s weaknesses will only enhance your strengths to better service your customers.