Knowing who your competitors are and what they are up to is almost always seen as a top priority, but this “top” priority is sometimes lost in a pile of other more important “top” priorities. Although data companies like getchee offer consulting services that help businesses with competitor knowledge, there’s a lot you can do on your own.
1 – Google ‘em
Obvious, but can lead to an abundance of information simply on its own. Google offers a number of useful tools that can help you do competitor research faster and more focused. Go explore these 2 powerful tools for keeping track of news and narrowing down trends and search results: Google Trends and Google Alerts
2 – Get in their Social network
Virtually every company is active on at least one or two social network platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, which means visiting these pages and keeping track of updates and interactions is as easy as “liking” their Facebook page, or “following their LinkedIn or Twitter accounts.
3- Create a competitor map
Today’s world is digital, and this means there are numerous apps and tools available to help you do everything faster and more efficiently, which thankfully includes competitor analysis as well. One of the keys to understanding your competitions is to map them out. Start with this list of mapping tools to get started.
4 – Attend conventions
Not only can conventions potentially help your business find new leads, but they can be a great place to see what some of your competitors have been up to, in one place at the same time.
5 – Hire your competitors
Who knows more about your competitors then the competitors themselves? Hiring former employees from your competitors firms means you will have access to a whole range of valuable information such as: What markets are they looking at? What products and services are they having trouble selling? How is their business strategy changing?
6 – Keep track of who they hire
Knowing what types of positions your competitors are looking to fill, can fill you on what your competitors future plans may be. Are they expanding services? Are they venturing into specific new industries? Are they preparing for an expanded marketing push?
7 – Be a customer yourself
If you already know who your competitors are, why not just give them a call, or an email and ask them about their products and services? Asking the right questions can help you find out most of what you need to learn and you’ll be surprised how much information most companies are willing to give you.
8 – Get help
Conducting a successful competitor analysis with rich insights often requires a lot of time and patients that you might not have. Companies, like getchee can help you get started, or put together a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond basic google searches and phone calls.