Staying knowledgeable about your industry is key to growing a business and looking at what your competitors are doing is part of that. Looking into your competitors and other similar businesses in your industry can give you some interesting ideas for your own company. However it can be a tough to figure out what you should and shouldn’t pay attention to. I have two big pieces of advice for you to help you get the most out of what you see:
What are people saying?
Between online reviews and company social media accounts, it’s easier now more than ever to find out what people are saying and how they feel about a given company’s products or services. There’s a number of ways to use this to your advantage. The most obvious is to see what types of complaints people have about a given business and make sure to improve your business in those areas. Another company in your area has complaints about slow service? Make sure you are servicing your customers quickly – without sacrificing quality of course!
On the flip side, you might see many reviews online raving about a certain aspect of a competitor business. Rather than try to compete with them on something they are already doing very well, try and find your own niche or something else that makes your business special. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make your business the best it can be in all areas just because your competition does one thing well, though! If their service is highly praised make sure yours is the best it can be too.
Analyze, Don’t Copy
Probably the most important piece of advice is not to get too caught up in examining your fellow businesses. This can lead to copying or attempting to counteract their every move, which isn’t a good idea for your business. Take the time every once in a while – when your sales have hit a plateau or you just need some new ideas – to look around and examine your competing products and business strategies. Analyze what they’ve done that has worked well for them and what hasn’t.
Use this information to improve and adjust your own strategies. Remember that above all else you should keep your company’s best interest in mind. Don’t go chasing the competition or industry trends just because the competition is doing it. Make changes and improvements to your business that you feel fit with your business’ goals and ideals.
Ultimately, remember to keep your business true to its own goals and interests. But being flexible and filling in gaps left by competitors can be very helpful – both for you and your customers! Analyzing the other businesses in your industry can be a great source of ideas for what to improve and what to avoid for your own business.