One of the big challenges you have to face if you’re running a business is the competition – other businesses and other owners! You don’t have to feel like you’re directly and bitterly in a rivalry with each other to be in competition. Simply existing in the space, needing the same customers and resources to prosper means you’re competing, and you need to have a strategy about how you’re going to deal with that.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the issues in this space to help you make informed decisions about how to navigate it successfully.
One of the most important ways to compete – or simply co-exist – with other businesses is to pay careful attention to timing. Launching new products, new marketing pushes or simply seasonal sales in the same window as a competitor forces your customers to choose between you, it pushes up the cost of your marketing and means you both get less impact for the amount you spend.
Using competitor analysis can help. This is a kind of consultancy work that researches your key competitors in the market and helps to pin down what they’re likely to do next – and to identify the white space in the market where you have room to play. If you’re looking for this kind of consulting London is a good place to start, with a range of agencies and individuals to suit a range of needs and budgets.
Know Your Customers
You can’t underestimate the importance of market research. Knowing who your customers are lets you make better decisions about how to appeal to them – and most importantly how to identify the customers your competitors aren’t reaching, so you can capitalise on them!
While you can reach the customers you already have relatively easily – as they’re right there, shopping with you – this isn’t very helpful for growth. Using a market research agency extends your reach to a cross section of all potential customers in your area, supercharging you with the data you need to reel them in!
Competitive feelings can be good motivation to go the extra mile, but it’s important not to let them boil over into bitterness. In some ways your competitors are your best resources: running a business can be an isolating experience, and the people who understand those pressures the best, people who can truly act as your peers may well be your fellow business owners.
Outside the context of actively running your business you might find your competitors are a vital network, a useful resource or simply a social group you fit right into!