Economy - Romwell Web Design & Hosting

Understanding Your Competition

Keeping tabs on your competition is the most important part of your market research and a great strategy for growing your business. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is always competition, no matter the business; your competitors are out there and they are hungry for your customers.

Your need to be sensitive to the information about your competition that is available. The information doesn't have to be always based on hard evidence, special agency research or legal, factual information. If you don't have a budget to hire professional to do the job, you can do research on your own. And if you do your research well, educated guesses can be enough to be the basis of your business planning and decisions. But one way or another, you need to know your competition and understand where they are positioned on the market. By knowing your competition and identifying the gaps that your business can fill, you will be able to find position for your business and offer a unique mix of options to reach a different type of consumer.

Analyze the market and accurate all information about your competition. The clearer you are at outset about the competition you'll face, the better your business will be and the greater your chances of success will be. Doing your own research is good way to start.

Here are some basic tips on how you can start gathering information on your competitors:

1. Online Tools

Begin with a thorough search of the internet, using your favorite search engines. The internet is amazing in what it can reveal.

Keep a very close eye on their website, flyers, press information and articles on them.

Monitoring social network like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, review sites, blogs, and other social media is an easy, cost-effective way to stay informed about the competition and public's sentiment about your competitors.

Find out where they are listed on other sites, do they have online store or dig for other related information and changes they may have gone through.

Sign up for their newsletters, monitor what events they might be attending, and what new products they are introducing to the market.

2.Direct Observation

Evaluate your consumer's options for the products or services you are offering or plan to offer will help you assess the level of direct and indirect competition within your industry.

Buy from your competition or call your competitors to find out more about products or services they offer.

Watch who they're hiring, what positions they are looking to fill and what technologies the candidates need to know.

3.Subject Interviews

Ask your customers - Find out who they used before, why they switched to you, the reason they were dissatisfied with their previous supplier etc.

Check in with your suppliers (if you share the same suppliers as your competitors) and ask indirect smart questions to find out about products pre-ordered for the next month, volume specials etc.

Hire employees from competing firms, because no one have more inside information about your competition than the former employees.

Ask other people around you about your competition and find out what products they use for sampling and demos, which method they use for customer feedback, what specials they are offering etc. .

4.Try to answer these questions:
  1. How big, how old, how strong they are?
  2. What percentage of the market do they have?
  3. What makes their product or service different from others?
  4. Do they concentrate on quality or volume?
  5. Are their prices perceived as low, medium or high?
  6. Do they offer discounts? What kinds? How often?
  7. Is their product or service known by name?
  8. What kind of promotion do they use? Free samples? Giveaways?
  9. How do they distribute their service or product?
  10. Where are they located and is location important to their success?
  11. Are they targeting specific customers?
  12. What's good or bad about their product or service?

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