Sure, you know your business inside and out — but what about the competition? In the everyday heyday of running a business, it’s easy to think that you understand the competition, when you really don’t. So how do you know if your business has a good handle on the competition, or if you need to do more to stand out from the crowd? Here are seven signs that your business is staying on top of the competition.
You know who your competition is. Business that are staying on top of the competition know exactly who the competition is. Follow your competitors on social media, Sign up for their email lists. Visit their stores. Besides just knowing their name, know what their brand is about and why their customers might choose them.
You know why your customers choose you, instead of the competition. Knowing your competition goes hand-in-hand with knowing your customer. Why does the type of customer that your business caters to choose you over the others? Is it price? Brand value? Convenience? High-end service?
You know what the competition is charging. Businesses that are staying on top of the competition are aware of what the competition is charging. Sometimes, that awareness helps ensure your own prices are competitive. Other times, knowing the competition’s prices just means helps you understand why customers come to you. For example, customers may be willing to pay more for a 15 minute oil change, then to go to a cheaper shop that takes an hour.
You are marketing regularly. Businesses that are staying on top of the competition know that their competitors aren’t remaining stagnant. Advertising should be an continuous effort, otherwise, new customers may be shopping at the competition simply because they’ve never heard your name before. Even if the advertising budget is low, you should be making a continuous effort to put your name out there, even if those are budget efforts like social media posts and flyers.
You are regularly looking for ways to improve. Knowing the competition keeps businesses inspired to keep looking for ways to do more. From something as simple as painting the front door to big changes like adding a new product, keep looking for new ideas to stay fresh.
Customer service is a priority. Dissatisfied customers will quickly become the customers of your competition. Businesses with an eye on the competition know how important customer service is and have a program in place designed to assist customers and train employees to help those customers.
You regularly brainstorm ways to bring in new customers. Sometimes, the most competitive businesses are simply the most creative. When was the last time you brainstormed new ideas to bring in new customers, like an event, a contest or a special sale? Businesses that regularly get the creative wheels rolling are often ahead of the competition.