Acknowledging and following your competition is a great growth strategy for your small business. You can learn so much from an already established company in your sector, such as it’s business connections and target audience.

Social media can give us a wealth of information, but it can also be confusing. With so many research options readily available, what are the best FREE methods?

 

Here Are My Top 5 Tips For Researching Your Competition

  • Google Alerts – Obviously, just a quick visit to their website will bring up a wealth of information, but google alerts sends emails to the user when it finds new results—such as web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, or scientific research—that match the user’s search term.
  • Social Media Postings – Simply following your competitors on social media can give you a wealth of information in real time of their tracks. Are you looking to attain the same sector audience? Then following their followers on Twitter would be a great start. It’s a simple yet cost effective method, and will give you feedback on the publics view of the brand.
  • Asking your customers – A more direct approach, but if you don’t ask you will never know! Why did a customer choose not to do business with you? If you are too expensive, ask them if they have seen a better deal elsewhere and who with. Some customers will inform you directly they will save more money with a competitor without you having to enquire at all. It’s important to take notes and then research your competitors special offers. Can you match them? Offer something more?
  • Conferences – Trade conferences are a brilliant way to acquire knowledge about a company. Just remember to lose that company badge! The Excel centre in London holds some fantastic events for SME’s throughout the year with hundreds of businesses attending and managing their own stalls. Simply approach your competitors and find out more by acting like an interested customer.
  • Hire your competition – For example, think of the wealth of information your competitor’s business development manager would hold? They would also know the years targets, and the general plan for the year. Another tip would be to visit their career page. Who are they hiring? Which part of their business are they expanding?

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