The ability to conduct research effectively on your competition is one of the cornerstones of becoming a successful business. If more small businesses could do it, we wouldn’t be consistently looking at a 50 per cent failure rate within the first five years.
To stay out of that group, it’s important you take a methodical approach toward your competition. The following five steps will help you understand them, learn from them, and beat them at their own game.
1. Know Thy Enemy
Forgive the dramatics. You can and should get along with your competition whenever the opportunity presents itself, but never forget that business is a battle for market share, customers, and sales. Your competition wants to maximize their success even if it comes at your expense.
That’s why it is important to understand their motivations. What do they want? How do they get there?
Visit their websites, and sign up for their newsletters. You might even consider becoming a customer! All these steps will get you closer to knowing them and how they do business.
2. Check Their Messaging
Another important part of how to do a competitive analysis is to look at their messaging. What do their blog posts, audio, and video content sound like? What kind of voice or narrative are they using?
Also, don’t just sign up for their corporate communications. Read what they send you! You have to know how they are communicating with the public to keep from copying them and to help establish your own unique messaging.
Also, while you’re at it, look at the keywords they are targeting. Analyze their SEO and how they are getting people to notice them online. Working with an agency like Infinite Design House can help in this regard if you’re uncertain of where to begin.
3. Examine Social Media Platforms
The rise of social media during the last decade has offered a plethora of granular details when it comes to competitor research. By following a Facebook page or Twitter feed, you can learn a lot about how companies communicate with and serve their customers one-on-one.
Watch how they do it across multiple platforms. Note the attitude of their customers as well because understanding your competition requires a great deal of understanding about their customers.
4. Target Gaps in Their Game
If you are taking the competitive research steps we’ve mentioned above, you’re going to start noticing important details. For example, what opportunities is your competition leaving open by the gaps in their game? Answering that question is how you find lucrative opportunities for sales and product development.
5. Get Personal
Last but not least, take your competition research to the next level by rubbing shoulders with your competitors at conferences and conventions or any other in-person opportunity. This will help you develop competitive products or distinguish similar products on the market in a special way by shedding light on company culture and vision.
Conduct Research Like a Pro to Beat the Competition
Don’t think you can skimp on this area when going into business for yourself. The effectiveness of how you conduct research will have a direct impact on your success rates moving forward.
Best of luck! For help coming to a deeper understanding of your competition, contact Infinite Design House today with your specific needs.