No matter how big of a business you run, there is no end to learning new things. While well-established and stable organizations are your much-loved source of inspiration and guidance, you often forget the worth of small scale businesses in the industry.
You, as a businessperson, should be aware of how your competitors, big or small, are marketing and selling their products and services to the targeted audience.
Even if your company successfully specializes in a distinctive product or service, it is still necessary for you to understand the small business competition for the same market. Why? Because this information is of utmost importance and can help in strategizing your company’s brand in a better fashion. So, in what ways can you learn from your small scale competitors? Read on.
1. Be curious.
Get into the habit of observing and formulating questions about trending business strategies and your industry. Websites like Quora and Qstacks.com provide significant data to form opinions and gather collective data. People on such websites are helpful and have knowledge about varied topics. For instance, if you develop Android widgets, you can ask consumers about their favorite widget or widget-maker!
2. Partake in your industry’s community.
The best way to stay ahead in your business is to join websites or web communities where individuals and companies in your industry connect. Websites like LinkedIn, PartnerUp, and MeetUp provide excellent opportunities to network with people from your niche. You can find out so much about what your competitors are up to. Reading online forums on such websites can give you a detailed yet comprehensive perspective on the latest developments in the market as well.
3. Be alert.
Just because your competitor is a small-scale organization doesn’t mean they are weak and vulnerable as far as their position in the market is concerned. In fact, small businesses experiment more with their marketing strategies and you don’t know which might hit the bull’s eye and when! So, you should always have your ears stuck to the Internet by setting up Talkwalker or Google Alerts. That way, you can stay informed about not only your competitors but also your target market.
4. Go social.
Follow your competitors on all possible social media platforms. Going social will give you a fairly good idea about where they are putting forth their efforts, how they are conducting social media campaigns for their products and where ample opportunities lie in the industry. In addition to this, you can learn how they are using social media for building customer loyalty; since adding a “personal touch” is what is the focus of companies today.
5. Subscribe to newsletter and blogs.
Competitors often publish newsletters or blogs that offer valuable insights into their companies. Subscribe to their newsletters using a dummy email account to maintain anonymity. The same tactic can be applied for following industry or product specific blogs. Subscribe to these blogs with your RSS feed reader and read them regularly.
Remember – You can learn so much from your small competitors provided you are open to it and use the right medium and tools to do so.
Great post…I teach my clients to hone in on their competition to see whats working correctly for them. If you are not learning from your competitors then you will get left behind. Subsequently, your business could suffer as well.