Small Business Pam Watson Korbel
|Pam Watson Korbel is an expert on small business and revenue growth. She personally managed exponential growth in two companies: a software firm that grew by 500% in four years and a health care firm that grew by 1800% in eight years. In addition, she has been advising fast growth companies as a coach and consultant since 1996.|
Competitive Analysis for Small Business
When it comes to effective competitive analysis, big businesses benefit from large staff resources and budgets for market research. That doesn’t mean small businesses should feel cheated. Several strategies and tactics are available to them to better understand their competitors.
Why do you want to know more about your competitors? Together with your competitors you define the marketplace for your prospects and clients because, as a group, you create messages that educate, inform and persuade your target market.
You want to monitor your competitors’ messages as well as strategies for product, pricing, market segments and distribution. For example, when a competitor launches a new product, it is best to identify that change from within rather than hearing it from a prospect.
The four steps to prepare a competitive analysis are:
1. Create a list of competitors.
Start a data base with client information so you can keep it all in one place. Include contact information, names of staff, products, locations, demographic data, etc. The additional information you want to gather should include:
2. Identify the strengths and weaknesses for each
3. Analyze their opportunities and threats
4. Size them up how do you compare? What competitive position can you take on?
5. Monitor markets change quickly so a process to monitor your competitors is essential to remain viable and dynamic.
The techniques to monitor your competitors can be simple and highly informative. Here are some thoughts:
In this open-information culture, gathering competitive information is less and less difficult. Rather, securing competitive information has become a necessary and time-consuming task. Use technology as your ally. Remember, the bottom-line is all companies, large and small, are expected to understand their competition fully.
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