KNOW YOUR COMPETITION! #knowyourcompetition

How well do you know your competition? One of the most important yet overlooked aspects of marketing your business effectively is understanding competition.  Far too many business owners have no idea who their real competitors are, how long they have been in the marketplace, what they have to offer, what their niche is and if they have a USP.

Maybe you think you know your competition? You may have researched them but not researched enough. If a prospective client asked you what your company could provide them over and above a competitor, could you tell them?  It is vital that you stay ahead of your competition in order to stay ahead in business so make sure you research them thoroughly. I have outlined a few pointers which will help you.

Product comparison – What does your product do better than your competitor’s product? Are they in direct competition with you? Does their product address a particular need? These are all questions which a prospective client will ask you, and these are all answers you should be able to rattle off without hesitation. This type of research should not only be carried out prior to setting up your business, but should be ongoing!

History – Have your main competitors been in the market long? Do you have a comparison of performance over the last 12 months? Did they do well, or did they not? This is important data to have and maintain, and will enable you to identify peaks and troughs in your competitors trading, which may in turn open opportunities for your business to capitalise on them.

Market Share – What is their market share? This can often be more relevant than revenue/turnover. It is not always about profits and often about correct market positioning.

Perception – What do their clients think of them? How do prospective clients view them? Look into how they treat clients, how do they retain and treat client loyalty? Once you know this information, use it!  Use testimonials to your best advantage, on your web site, on social media and bus referralsuse testimonials which highlight the areas your competitors fall short on.

Service – Do you or can you provide a better service? Do you give more value added service? Do you offer discounts for bulk services? Do you offer client incentives, more importantly, do your competition offer all of the above? Do you make it easier for a prospective client to choose you over your competition. Find out about the service level they provide, and make sure you offer better, whether it is through incentives, or add ons provide better. This will not only lead to greater customer loyalty but enable you to secure a better position within your marketplace.

Knowing your competitors is fundamental to understanding your business and position within the marketplace. One thing to bear in mind is that it is not always about beating your competitors on price. Studies have shown that price is rarely the main contributing factor in the buying decision. Sometimes offering the cheapest price can be detrimental causing your prospects to believe your product is inferior. One thing to remember is.. if you can’t beat them on price beat them on service.  competitor

An excellent example of how to achieve the ideal position can be found in the 10-Steps to Retail Success  book written by Retail Champion Clare Rayner, or on her blog on price and positioning .

If you do not have the time to invest in researching your competitors, consider outsourcing. Through our market research services, Beed Virtual can research competitors, suppliers, and potential customers for you. We can help you understand your competition and stay ahead of them. If you would like to know more about how Beed virtual can help your company, please email us via bev@beedvirtual.co.uk or visit our web site www.beedvirtual.co.uk  Don’t get left behind by your competition!

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