Starting your own business, and trying to grow in your specific industry can be very harrowing if you have not done your homework properly. In the words of Mike Michalowicz, “Keeping tabs on your competition not only gives you information on what your rivals are up to, but also gives you invaluable insight into your own company….The more information you have, the better business decisions you’re able to make.”
For this, you have to first learn who your competitors are and what have they already done to grab the market. This should give you a very healthy insight into how your competitors really work to keep their customer base. But at the same time, you should not be over-worrying about your competitors. You have to understand the fact that the stage you are in and your competitors are in, is very different. While you are growing, they already have an established business.
Worrying about the competitors is not a bad thing, sometimes it can even be productive. Watching your competitors can give you helpful insight on what methods work and do not work, while trying to grow your business in the same industry. These valuable insights will help you take right decisions for your business at the right time. Here are the five things you should mainly concentrate upon, while vying for the competitors’ market share in a healthy manner.
- Market Presence and Market Share
It is most important to know about the market share of your competitor and the market presence of your competitor. Which segment does your competitor cater to? Well-organized market research can reveal the basic statistics about your competitors. The best way to grab the market is to take up the segment that was ignored by your competitors. You should start as early as possible to score points against your competition.
2. Products and Pricing
Marketing research, that is well organized, can reveal a whole lot of information. You can get to know about the products of your competitors that exist in the market and the share of the customers they command. Go through business journals to understand the pricing and the price regulation mechanisms that are in place. While the price of your goods and services need to be competitive but they need not be very low as compared to existing ones. You have to understand the reason why your competitor’s goods and services are priced in a particular range. This will also let you understand how to price the value-added to goods and services. Always remember that a customer will opt for a low-priced product only if he is on a very tight budget.
3. Social Outreach and Advertising
Every business, big or small, has a page dedicated to itself in the social media. The page also acts as advertising platform. A social media account or website can be great place to receive insight from customers, whether its about their complaints and problems, or praises toward the company.
Social media also makes it glaringly obvious as to how much outreach your company on the particular platform. You can look at what types of marketing pieces your competitors put out to reach the maximum number of consumers in their target market, and you can take inspiration from that and use it toward your own marketing pieces. You can also easily find marketing pieces that have failed, and use them as an example of what not to do.
4. Top Keywords
It is important to be able to spot the current trends and technology in your specific market. While you are trying to grow your businesses and gain a stronger understanding of your market, look to competitors in your industry who have been around for a while and see what trends they are leaping on. You can browse through your competitors’ websites and find out what the top keywords are that attract customers towards them. You can also make use of these keywords in your website to attract some of their business towards you also, eventually grabbing the market.
5. Customer and Employees Retention Policies
Last, but not the least, you have to take note of what your competitors do when it comes to retaining customers and employees. What do they do to keep customers engaged, happy and loyal? What is the prevailing work culture in the company and the pay-out of the employees? Researching the answers to these questions will give you the insight you need to start implementing policies that will help you to maintain a loyal customer base and happy employees, just like your competitors.
Though it may appear that some of the things listed above are underhand tactics, in reality they are practical and completely ethical. It is completely normal to look at what your competitors are doing while you are trying to grow in the same industry.