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Small Business 101: How to Monitor your Competitors

a man meticulously studies the graphs and data of his business competitorsBig businesses prioritize competitor intelligence gathering, and it’s about time that small businesses do too. If you don’t have up-to-date information on your competitors, you risk becoming blindsided by another up-and-coming competitor, or worse, lose your market share entirely. Fortunately, here are some ways you could do competitive analysis without spending a chunk of your budget.

Monitor your Competitors’ Online Presence

Just like you, your competitors are probably going all in with their online marketing campaigns in hopes of converting followers into customers and get the word out about their brand. Simply follow their social media accounts, subscribe to their blogs to know about their latest news, and check out what people are saying about them on review sites. If potential customers are talking about them online, you must know why and what they’re talking about.

Take a Look at their Pricing Strategy

Why are their prices high or low? Try and see how they price their products and why. If they offer low prices, find out if they still make a profit and how. If their prices are on the higher side, try and determine why and how they market higher priced products to customers. Consider using price tracking software so that you could see exactly how they price their products and when they change them.

Go Out and Buy their Products

By purchasing and using your competitors’ products, you could discover so much about its features and how it compares to yours. You could then use the things you learned to influence your manufacturing or selling strategies such as for introducing new features for your products or positioning how better your product is against theirs.

Speak with Customers

Talking to actual users of your products is among the most inexpensive and efficient ways you could use for gathering competitive intelligence. From this, you could determine what customers like about your products and your competitors’ products and what you could improve on in case they’re favoring your competitors’ offerings over yours.

By monitoring your competitors, ideally on a regular basis, you could get to know how they operate so that you could better anticipate what their next moves might be. You could then brainstorm better strategies to win customers away from your competitors. In short, competitive monitoring, when done right, is an excellent strategy to help ensure the success of your business.

You can then plan your strategies so that you keep your customers and win (not steal) customers away from competitors. In other words, keeping tabs on your competition is a great strategy for growing your business.

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