It may seem that owning a successful business is all about having a brilliant idea then the courage, funding and smarts to implement it. Sure, this is how a lot of businesses start. However, the key to continued growth and success is innovation, knowing your customer, and being ready at a moment’s notice to grab the next best thing.
Taking advantage of ideas and opportunity before the competition will keep a business at the top of it’s game. But always being second, third, fourth in line to innovation will reflect consumer choices in the marketplace. If you want your business to be seen as cutting edge, then this article is for you. Read on for top reason why understanding your competition is vital and ways to do it.
Time is Money
If you are a business owner, you will not be swimming in free time. Rather, you are probably overloaded with too many jobs and too little time. Don’t let understanding your competition fall off the priority list because it seems too overwhelming to dig deep into what everyone else is doing. Explore web scraping tools that will enable you to hire a third party to extract data from competition’s websites and deliver it neatly to you for review. You won’t believe how easy it is to use these services and the enormous value your company will receive from it.
If you are wondering how to begin understanding competition, the first step is actually very simple. Get an old fashioned pen and paper, and write down your top ten competitors. Think outside of the box to companies that are producing things that are different to yours but post direct competition. When I worked at an outdoor company the CEO would always say that video games were our biggest competition. We want people outside, they keep people inside. So look into their marketing tactics and products and see what you can learn.
It’s Not Today, It’s Tomorrow
Don’t spend too much time fussing about what your competition is doing today. The real concern and focus should lie in what you think they are capable of tomorrow. A good company will have high-quality business as usual ticking along, and will focus energy on uncovering the next best “most unimaginable” thing. When reading through data extraction try to read between the lines to see what projects may be on the go that aren’t published yet.
Creative Demographic Targeting
Often companies target the most obvious demographics – the low hanging fruit as it is often called. This ensures sales will remain steady and risk can be mitigated. However, what if your competition has just uncovered that your product has made a huge impact on a totally different age group or demographic. This is the type of information you want to stay on top of so you can be first to the new market and be known as the cool brand that started marketing for example gray hair dye to the millennials (this is actually a thing).
Innovation in your company can come in numerous ways. It can be an introduction of a new product or service, or an adaptation of an existing product or service. But innovation in your company will not come from merely perfecting business as usual and maintaining status quo. Minimise time needed to get the scoop on your competition and ensure you remain a leader in your market with spending the time and money on data extraction and stay one foot ahead of everyone.