When you’re in the world of business, so much can hinge on your rivals – the other people operating in your niche. When you’re starting out, some of your competitors are so huge you’re simply beyond their notice – Amazon doesn’t have to have a plan for the threat you pose to its business but it could close you down without even noticing. Your more immediate rivals – businesses you’re chasing, that are chasing you and that you’re competing for resources with should be part of your everyday planning.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can make those plans, and give yourself the best possible chance of coming out on top.
Who Are Your Rivals?
The most important thing you can do first is identify who your rivals are. If you don’t know who you’re competing with then you can’t compete effectively!
Identifying rival businesses can be difficult depending on the nature of your own brand. If you’re an online retailer, offering worldwide shipping then your rivals could be anywhere else in the world! If you’re offering a service from one geographical location it’s easier: you can simply explore the town or city and look for competitor shops!
It’s worth investing in research or specialist help to find a list of your most relevant competitors to plan around.
How Do You Measure Up?
Once you have a list of the other actors in your market, it’s important to find out how you compare with them. It’s no use trying to outspend a competitor on marketing when they have far deeper pockets than you can currently aspire to.
This is where you can’t avoid turning to specialist consultants for help. Competitor benchmarking is a vital service that helps you understand how strong your competition really is. It’s a long term exercise that lets you see how your rivals change over time, how they respond to market trends and where they sit in comparison with you.
Avoiding the Competition
One of the most important things you can do is avoid your competitors. If you’re planning a big new product launch, a sale or opening a new location, the last thing you want to do is set a date that clashes with a close competitor doing the same thing! This forces your customers to choose between you, hikes up the cost of marketing as you’re competing for close keywords, and could result in your product failing to recoup its development fees!
More competitor analysis can give you the inside edge here and help you predict your rivals plans so you get the maximum chance of success.