You know what they say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In fact, Sun Tzu, who was a Chinese military strategist also wrote in the Art of War that “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without fear of defeat.”
As a new online entrepreneur and business owner, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition by studying their business strategies and tactics. This is because online businesses are very competitive due to the low barrier to entry.
It’s thus more important to take the time to do your homework and know the competition. That way, you can stay one step ahead of them and make sure you are giving your customers the best possible experience.
Here’s why knowing your competition is so important:
DISCLOSURE: Some of the links that I share in this article ARE my affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. In fact, sometimes you'll get a discount or free credits just FOR using my link. 🙂
The first reason it’s important to study your competition is so that you can gain competitive intelligence. You want to know what strategies they are using and how their business compares to yours.
What products or services do they offer? How do they market themselves? What pricing structure do they use? All these questions will help you develop better strategies for success in the long run.
Additionally, if there are any gaps in what your competitors are offering, you will have an opportunity to fill those gaps with a unique product or service that sets you apart from the rest.
Understand What Works (and What Doesn’t) for Your Industry
Another important aspect is understanding customer needs. Knowing what other businesses in your same industry offer helps to identify what customers are looking for in a product or service.
You can also learn more about what works (and what doesn't) in your target markets. This could be anything from pricing models to marketing tactics to customer service strategies.
It also gives you an idea of what types of content resonate with people in your industry and which ones don’t.
This helps to create a competitive edge and develop innovative products and services. Knowing the competition also helps in pricing a product or service. It is important to provide a competitive price while maintaining quality standards.
Know How Customers Perceive Your Business
Studying the competition also gives you an idea of how potential customers perceive your business versus other competitors in the space. For example, if you notice that many loyal customers favor one competitor over another, take some time to figure out why this is happening.
Are they offering better prices? More features? Better customer service? Knowing these things can help you adjust your business model accordingly and ensure that you stay competitive.
Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Trends & Changes in Your Space
It’s important to stay up-to-date on trends and changes within your industry by studying the competition. It is also important to stay connected with industry experts, blogs, and podcasts related to your field.
When something new comes out or a major shift occurs (such as implementing new technology or introducing a new product), it’s important that you know about it so that you can remain competitive and provide the best possible experience for your customers.
How You Can Know The Competition
There are several ways that you can go about studying your competition and their marketing activities. One of the easiest ways is simply by keeping an eye on their social media accounts or blogs. This will give you an idea of what content they are producing and how they are interacting with their audience online.
Another great way to stay informed is by signing up for their email lists. This is so that you can track any promotions or campaigns they may be running and get some inspiration for your own business.
Additionally, there are some tools out there, like Hexowatch, that allow you to easily track competitor websites. You will be able to monitor any website for visual, content, source code, technology, availability, or price changes.
This information can give you insight into what might be working best for them so that you can apply those same principles when optimizing your website and content as well.
Finally, you can use tools like Google Alerts to track any mentions of their brand or products. This is a great way to stay in the know and know what people are saying about them (both good and bad).
To learn more about how to make a competitive analysis, check out this post: How to Make a Competitive Analysis and Use It to Your Advantage?
My Own Experience
I would like to share my own experience on how I got to know the competition when I started my online business on Amazon years ago. So where do you think I did my research on the competition?
You got it right! I went to no other place than Amazon.com to study my competition to see what kind of prices they charged and the marketing angle for the products. I also read through the reviews on their product pages (which is a form of customer feedback) to see what existing customers are happy or unhappy about.
The positive reviews could give me an idea of what features customers liked. They also give me the marketing angles and language to use to make the customers feel understood.
On the other hand, it is also important to see the negative reviews and take notes on what issues customers are facing and how you could address those in your own product or service.
This kind of research gave me valuable insights on how to stand out from my competition and offer a great product that customers would love.
At the end of the day, to know the competition is essential if you want to have a successful business. Taking the time to know who they are and what they’re all about is incredibly important because it can help you position yourself and your business in the best way possible.
So if you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, take a few minutes every week and do some research on what other businesses in your space are doing. You never know which small insight could turn into a major breakthrough!