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How to learn from your competition

Spike

Although you might have a laser focus on your own business and not really care much about what others are doing, it’s a good idea to have some understanding of who you might be going up against. This isn’t to get you all riled up or feeling less-than; there’s actually a lot you can learn from your competition to make your business the best it can be.

Identify who your competition is
Take a look at your competition if you haven’t already, and make a note of who your direct competitors are, who your less direct competitors are, and who could be a competitor in future. You can find these out by doing a quick Google search for businesses similar to yours in the local and wider area. Even if you feel they actually offer less than you do, there’s always something to be learned from the way other people do business.

Figure out how they’re doing
By just clicking through your competition’s websites and Facebook pages, you can probably tell how they’re doing. Are they spending a lot of money on marketing to make their website look awesome and user-friendly? Do they have a lot of great customer reviews? What are people loving about them? What are people not loving about them?

Work out what they’re offering
This might be part of figuring out how they’re doing, but this is where you can get really specific with it. Are they offering a faster turnaround time than you on quotes? Are they offering a variety of payment options or plans? If it’s possible, see what specifics you can incorporate into your own business plan to match or better your competitors.

Use their strength to fix your weaknesses
If you know there’s one part of your business that you have been neglecting or that you haven’t really figured out properly yet, see where your competition is excelling. If you know you should post more on social media but you’re uninspired, check out the kind of content your competition is posting – is it great client stories? Is it pictures of work in progress? And how often are they posting? You have a framework now so get onto it!

Do a bit of trial and error
Some businesses are just better at certain things. They might be bigger or smaller than you and so will have more resourcing for specific things, or they might be prioritising other areas more. Figure out what you want to replicate and see how you go. Make sure you’re actually tracking whether this is working for you or not, don’t just throw money and time at something you think will help your business if it actually doesn’t end up getting results.