In business, staying ahead of the competition is not just a goal but a necessity. You need to research the competition so you can stay ahead. How do you research the competition?
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, understanding your competitors is a key ingredient for success.
In this article, we will explore three simple yet powerful tools that will help you research and understand the competition.
These powerful tools—Google, Email, and Mystery Shopping—when used correctly, will help you stay ahead of the competition always.
In the ‘Start Your Business in 30 Days’ course, our entrepreneurs not only learn about these tools but also receive guidance on the practical application of these tools.
We have received testimonials about how these tools have kept them on the edge and ensured they don’t drop the bar at any time.
Why Use Google, Emails and Mystery Shopping for Competition Research?
Google has become our go-to guide for almost everything. But, it’s not just a search engine; it’s a vast source of information waiting to be discovered. I will take you through how to use Google to uncover competitor strategies, market trends, and customer reviews.
Email, the humble communication tool, holds more power than meets the eye. We’ll discuss how you can leverage email to stay informed about your competitors’ activities, promotions, and customer interactions. Emails give you a front-row seat to their business operations.
And then, there’s the intriguing world of mystery shopping. Imagine stepping into your competitor’s shoes to experience their service firsthand. I will guide you on how mystery shopping can provide valuable insights into customer experiences, pricing strategies, and the overall strengths and weaknesses of the competition.
Whether you’re aiming to refine your business strategy or gain a competitive edge, these tools will empower you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions and succeed in your business.
Before we proceed, if you would like expert guidance on how to stay ahead in your business, then enroll in my program, “Start Your Business in 30 Days,” or talk to me on WhatsApp at 08038874148. I will take you from idea to starting your business in 30 days.
Tools for Competition Research
As emphasized, you need to understand your competition and what they are doing. Understanding your competition will help you stay relevant as you will be innovating continuously.
These three tools are the tools I use to stay abreast of our competition. Let us look at them one after the other.
Google is an open resource where you can easily search for businesses in your industry. Take the time to look at their websites and see what they look like. What services and products do they offer? Focus on the businesses in your local areas.
It helps to have a general sense of what businesses in your niche are doing across the world, country, state, or your locality. If you are marketing specifically to your location, it is good to know about what other businesses are doing in your area.
As you conduct your research, write down what you like about their business and what you like about their operations. What do you like about their website? Take note of the things you can do better and write them down.
What more can you offer to differentiate yourself from the competition? Look at their communication style on the website to see how they do it. For your business, have a more approachable tone when you communicate with your audience.
Social media -Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc- help define your target audience by looking at your competitors’ followers. What demographic follows, engages and interacts with them? This is an easy way to identify your target audience.
The information you gather also feeds into your online marketing strategy as you then target people with certain interests, ages, gender and location.
Another useful strategy for deciphering your competition is mystery shopping. This often gives even better results as websites may not provide all the information you seek or depict how customers are interacted with.
Essentially, as a mystery shopper, you contact your competitor as a prospective customer and inquire about their product and service as well as their pricing and offer.
Take it a step further by visiting them physically (if they have a physical space and you can make the visit), making a purchase and experiencing their services or products.
With such first-hand engagement, you can assess how they interact with customers. You get a sense of the tone and approach of interactions. Are they professional, decorous and eager to serve? Being a secret shopper is a great way to gain appreciable insight into your competitor’s business.
Remember, you have access to all these tools; Google, social media and email. Therefore, you have all you need to be a secret shopper.
How To Apply These Three Competition Research Tools To Your Business
Understanding the tools is one thing, but the real challenge lies in applying them effectively to your business.
Understanding your competition is crucial for keeping your business relevant and ensuring you offer something unique to your customers.
If you lack the know-how to apply these tools, standing out from the competition will be challenging. This is where the magic happens for entrepreneurs participating in the “Start Your Business in 30 Days” program. They not only receive guidance on using these tools, but they also submit their work for review and feedback.
The feedback we give is then incorporated into their research which becomes a catalyst that sets them apart from the competition.
While I’ll provide you with a glimpse of how to use these tools, what you won’t ascertain is whether you’re using them correctly. The only way to gain that assurance is by enrolling in the “Start Your Business in 30 Days” Program.
Click here to enrol and take the next step toward mastering these tools for business success.
Let us go through the steps to apply these tools:
Step One: Google Search
Start by conducting a Google search for businesses in your industry, focusing on those in your local area. Visit their websites and carefully observe what they offer, their products, and services.
Take notes on what you like about their business and operations, as well as areas where you believe you can offer something better or different.
Step Two: Social Media Analysis
Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to analyze your competitors’ followers and engagement. This will help you identify your target audience more effectively.
Pay attention to the demographics of their followers, as it will guide your online marketing strategy.
Step Three: Mystery Shopping
Implement the mystery shopping strategy to gain valuable insights into your competitors’ customer interactions. As a mystery shopper, reach out to your competitors as a prospective customer, inquiring about their products, services, and pricing.
If possible, visit their physical location, make a purchase, and experience their services firsthand. Observe how they interact with customers, the tone they use, and their overall approach to customer service.
Step Four: Analyze Your Findings
After completing your competition research, analyze the information you’ve gathered from Google search, social media analysis, and mystery shopping.
Identify areas where your competitors excel and areas where you can differentiate yourself. Use this knowledge to refine your business strategy and improve your branding and marketing efforts.
Step Five: Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Based on your research, craft a clear and compelling Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that sets you apart from your competition. Your USP should communicate what makes your business unique and why customers should choose you over others.
Step Six: Plan for Ongoing Research
Remember that competition research is an ongoing process. Make a plan to regularly monitor your competitors, industry trends, and customer preferences.
Stay alert for new competitors entering the market and adapt your strategies accordingly.
Step Seven: Implement the Findings
Finally, implement or plan to implement the insights gained from your competition research into your business operations, website design, communication style, and marketing strategies.
Continuously innovate to provide added value to your customers and stay ahead of your competitors.
Those are the steps you need to take to research the competition. To ensure you do not procrastinate about executing any of these steps, enrol in the Start Your Business in 30 Days program. The program takes you from idea to starting your business in 30 days. Click here to enrol.
How I Can Work with You to Start And Grow Your Business
If you want to work with me to start a profitable and sustainable business, then enrol in the Start Your Business in 30 Days Program. I will take you from idea to starting your business in 30 days.
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I am an internationally trained award-winning entrepreneur running three profitable businesses and a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council. I help aspiring entrepreneurs start and set up their businesses through my program- Start Your Business In 30 Days.
And, I work with companies and established corporations to scale their impact and revenue. Reach me at Florence@entrepreneurs.ng if you would like to transform your business.
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