AD | In business, competition is unavoidable. Even if you begin as the only provider of whatever it is you’re selling, sooner or later, more and more people will realise that they, too, can earn money in this way and will begin to do something similar. It doesn’t really matter whether your rival has emerged since you started or if they have always been there and you were the one who felt the concept was good enough to attempt for yourself. The fact is that business rivalry isn’t something to be scared of – it’s really a positive thing.
Who Are Your Competitors?
You can use your competitors to become better at what you do, but first, you must figure out who they are. If you ask most company owners, they will probably be able to name one or two rivals – most likely the ones in their immediate vicinity. The problem is that there will almost certainly be a wide range of competitors, not just those you can see or are aware of.
When thinking of who they might be, don’t limit your search to the nearest competitors because distance and location don’t mean anything now that online shopping is a possibility and many businesses can reach a nationwide audience or even an international one. Don’t simply look at those that offer your exact product or service either; there are others who might be selling something that works just as well and that your potential customers could use instead of whatever you sell. These too are your competition and your business rivals.
A Learning Curve
Knowing what your rivals are up to is critical if you want to stay ahead of them. Take a look at what they’re selling and how they’re selling it. Take the time to browse their website and get acquainted with their marketing strategies. What discounts are their customers getting if your competitors just reduced their pricing by having a sale? Have they changed their name? Are they under new management? Perhaps you own a logistics or delivery business; how is your competitor faring? Is new technology, such as tachograph analysis, being used that could help you as well? Any slight change is significant and will tell you something about the industry you work in.
How Does It Help?
Understanding what a competitor has changed means you can look more closely as to why they have changed it, no matter what it is or how insignificant it might seem at first. A business will seldom just attempt new things if the old method of working generates sales and profits. This would be too much of a risk in many cases. Therefore, if a change does take place, this could be indicative of a change in the market, for example – this is why you need to pay attention to what your competition is doing.
It’s also possible that your rival is somehow losing money and altering how they operate to compensate. This is even more intriguing; you are being given free insight into how the market is changing, and you can adjust appropriately – or you could move in on a competitor’s ‘patch’ if it seems that they are failing.