Keep Your Friends Close, And Your Competition Closer!
When starting a business, you’re likely to do a fair amount of market research as to whether your product or service is expected to be successful when introduced to the market. It will be helpful to cozy up to those that you feel might be competing with you and your unique niche so that you can carve out your own space without stepping on any toes.
By monitoring the behavior of your competition, you will get to know them; their preferences, their behaviors, and their trends. In time, you might even learn to anticipate what they might do next, giving you an advantage and ideas for taking action that might be even more effective than their best strategy. Remember, potential customers don’t necessarily belong to any company, and most marketing strategies to win customers will not violate any business relationships that you have created. Resist the urge to hack into their customer database and follow these simple tips for learning more about your competition so you can tailor your business for growth and success:
Explore the internet
It has never been easier to learn more about products and services that your competitors offer than it is now with the use of the internet. Make searching for keywords and trying different combinations of words a regular part of your research so you can keep your growth strategy current and fresh. Notice how your competition promotes their items---what does their website look like? What does their marketing strategy look like? What do customer testimonials say? Can you take away ideas to formulate your own unique plan? Adopt a passion for ongoing learning, and you’ll no doubt stay ahead of the game when it comes to adapting with market changes.
Visit them in person!
This may be scary and intimidating, but it is essential to see what your competition is up to as they run their day to day operations. If you are considering opening up a specialty bookstore, visit other bookstores in your immediate area. Notice things like product placement, visual appeal, and customer interactions as you observe how their business is conducted. This will give you ideas on how to set up your physical shop, and it may even be a springboard to perfecting online interaction as well. Establish your own preferences as you see others in action and own your ideas as you turn your dreams into reality.
Some competitors are glad to lend a helping hand, and others would prefer to keep you at arm’s length when you are starting out. It’s worth putting in the time to see if others can offer you valuable advice that can help you get started off right. Some questions to consider might be:
How long have you been in business?
How do you feel you are doing?
Do you have advice for a newbie like me?
What is your biggest regret in starting a business?
What is one strategy that has worked well for you?
Ask earnestly and take notes. Use this information to craft your strategy and marketing plan and be thankful that you had the opportunity to get advice from seasoned owners who have been there, done that.
Investigate using word of mouth
It is important when conducting research is to ask customers questions about their needs…….and then find ways to give it to them! Listening to success stories and disappointments will be equally important as you learn what potential customers want and need; seek to “one-up” your competition by offering better deals, excellent customer service, and superior product offerings.
Keep up with current trends
Let’s face it----technology is changing business at an alarming rate. If you aren’t adopting an attitude of ongoing education and training, you’ll be down for the count sooner than you expected. Here are some easy ways to keep up with current trends:
Read everything you can about what’s hot in your market niche….and what’s not
Attend industry conferences to receive further education, get support, and make professional connections
Investigate through search engines
Use internet tools and social media to keep tabs on what customers are looking for
Form professional alliances
We said to keep them close….and we meant it. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody, provided it stays friendly! Build relationships with complementary businesses and see what you can do to strengthen and support each other. As much as you would like to believe that everyone has integrity when dealing with other business owners, be aware of the associations that you are making, and seek out people whose motives and business philosophy closely match your own. In doing so, you will be more likely to form relationships with other business owners that will stand the test of time.
Want more strategies on outlasting your competition? Partner with us!
In a world where thousands of companies are vying for customer attention, it can be challenging to rise to the top. At MaxGroup Business Solutions, we know how important it is to gain a competitive edge on your corner of the market, and we are here to help! With our innovative marketing strategies, cutting edge research, and customizable business packages that promote every aspect of your business, we can leverage your efforts and increase your visibility exponentially. If you want next level success and growth that far outweighs your competition, contact us today. Visit www.maxgroupbusiness.com to take your business straight to the top!