How to Benefit From the Competition

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Image of two people looking at a documentHow To Eliminate Chaos in Your Business
Part 12

Get Familiar With Your Competition

Your competition can be a great advantage to you. Many business owners dread the competition and would like to get rid of them.

I am against this concept. I would rather have my business running at its peak, and not worry that my competition is getting some of the market share.

I don’t like price wars and putting down the competition in my advertising, because I feel it would make my business look cheap.

Wouldn’t you agree that a rock-solid business, strong in the marketplace, offering superior value to their customers, would not publicly go after a competitor?

I would study all of my competitors, know what their practices are, and fill in the gaps that are missing, so I could strengthen my business. This practice tells me what the market wants and keeps me informed in my industry.

“Your Competition Is Your Best Research” ~ WorkSeet

Study your competition as much as possible.

You can break what you learn about your competition into three major categories:

1. The competition’s positive qualities.

2. The competition’s negative qualities.

3. The competition’s missing qualities.

To fill in the blanks you will need data from the competition. You may have your own way to do this, or you can use some of the following strategies:

Visit your competitors’ physical locations, or have someone who understands your business and who you can trust go to each of the businesses for you.

Study your competitors’ advertising.

Study competitors’ customer base.

Buy competitors’ products or services.

Post an online survey, or perform a telephone survey.

Find a newsgroup related to your business, such as on Google Groups. You can ask for feedback about a business and see what people will tell you. Be sure to make your questions interesting, and remember never to make a commercial pitch. This is not the time to advertise; most newsgroup users will consider your posts a waste of time if they think you are only there to advertise your own business.

Step One – Create Data Sheets On Your Competition.

Print a separate copy of this sheet for each of your competitors. Use the following questions or add some of your own.

 

Business Name: ____________________________________________________

1. What do you like about this business?

 

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2. How is their service?

 

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3. How is their appearance?

 

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4. What do they do right?

 

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5. What do they do wrong?

 

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6. What do you notice that is positive about this business?

 

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7. What do you notice that is negative about this business?

 

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8. What do notice that is missing in their business?

 

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Your Own Question ____________________________________

 

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Your Own Question ____________________________________

 

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Your Own Question ____________________________________

 

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Your Own Question ____________________________________

 

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Step Two – Analyze Your Competition.

Gather all the data sheets you created for each business together.

Take the time to study the sheets. Create one data sheet labeled, “Industry Research.”

1. List the positive qualities that all the businesses you researched have in common.

2. List the negative qualities that all the businesses you researched have in common.

3. List the missing qualities that all the businesses you researched have in common.

 

Step Three – Analyze The Industry Research Sheet You Created.

 

Similar qualities in the “positive” section indicate this is that industry standard because most businesses have adopted this quality.

1. Is your business up to the industry standard?

2. How can you make your business better than the industry standard?

3. What do you need to make your business better than the industry standard?

 

Similar qualities in the “negative” section indicate a great opportunity for you because they show that there is room for improvement in this area.

1. Does your business also possess these negative qualities?

2. What can you do in your business to reduce the negative qualities?

3. Can you find a solution to eliminate the negative qualities and use this to your advantage?

 

Similar qualities in the “missing” section are opportunities to implement unique traits that other businesses don’t possess.

How can you implement some of these missing qualities the bring the most benefit to your business?

 

Next In This Guide: Money and Your Business

How to Eliminate Chaos in Your Business ~ Table of Contents