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Tip of the Week: How to Learn from Your Competitors

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No matter what kind of business you run, you’re likely to gain many friends and allies in the war of entrepreneurship. However, you’ll also gain a lot of enemies (i.e. your competitors) that you’ll need to one-up somehow. Of course, you could always just exploit what they are doing wrong, but what about what they are doing right?

That’s right; you can learn from your competitors just as easily as exploit their weaknesses. What are they doing right, and how can you take a page out of their book and use it to benefit your company? Here are some tricks to turn your competitors into “allies” of sorts.

Turn Their Competitive Advantage Against Them
No matter how much better you are than your competitors, they are likely doing at least something better than you. Are they cheaper, or faster? Or, perhaps they are more costly, but offer better overall services. Whatever the advantage is, take it and turn it on them. Offer a better price for better services. Just get creative, and find a way to implement their way of business into your own plan.

Examine Their Marketing
Perhaps their marketing plan is their key to success. By studying it, you might find a couple of ways to improve your own marketing design. What do they focus on, and who do they target? Is it a specific group, or a broad spectrum? It basically comes down to whether they are doing something that you didn’t consider, and whether a particular approach can benefit your company. Keep an open mind and be willing to make changes. Who knows? Maybe your experimentation will be the start of something incredibly lucrative.

Consider Operating Costs
In order to operate at maximum capacity, you need to consider where you get your resources from. Similarly, you should also look at where your competitors come from. Are their products better, or does it cost less for them to create their stuff? Analyzing these intricate details will give you the knowledge necessary to make an accurate guess at how much you can save by switching things up. You should also look at the employees they hire, too. Are they more skilled, or do they put the employees through a more rigorous hiring process? You should look at their skill sets, leadership, compensation, everything. By doing so, you’ll get a better grasp on how you want your employees to be, and potentially boost their performance in the workplace.

It’s All About Image
What do your clients think about when they think of your competitors’ names? What do they think about your company? Build a compare-and-contrast chart and look to your company’s image; the thing that prospective clients see before dealing with the people behind it. Look at ways you can improve your public (and cyber) reputation. Also, look at the way they treat their clients. How long do they tend to stick around for, and what makes them stay loyal? Obviously, they must be doing something right in order to keep customers satisfied.

Overall, you want to learn from your competitors rather than blacklist them. If you ignore their positives and only concentrate on beating them, you might very well be missing out on opportunities to increase your productivity and success. Do you have any tips for success when it comes to beating out a nasty rival? Let us know in the comments.

Date: April 15th, 2015, Author: Jorge Rojas

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