Amy Morin

Amy Morin writes about psychology and business related topics such as payroll services for small business.

Amy Morin has written 10 articles for SB Informer.
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What Can You Learn from the Competition?

Amy Morin

February 26, 2014

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Taking a look at your competitors is one of the best ways to learn how to improve your small business while also acknowledging what mistakes to avoid.

Unfortunately, too many small business owners get so wrapped up in running their own companies that they fail to see what others are doing. Truth be told, you can learn a lot from watching others.

Why You Should Look at the Competition

Sometimes business owners make it known that they don't want to know anything about the competition. They may decide, "We're nothing like them," so they avoid looking into what the competition is doing.

However, looking at your competition doesn't mean you have to be like them. Instead, it can give you an edge up on them.


Look at how your competition is handling sales.

You can learn a lot about how to improve upon your sales efforts and you may find some new sales techniques that may appeal to your own customers.

Your competition may be selling their products in a completely different manner that may also work for your company.

For example, if your competition is using an affiliate network that offers a 10 percent commission to website owners who sell their products, you might want to begin a similar program.

Or maybe the competition offers a program to keep customers coming back to them.

For example, they may be offering repeat customers deep discounts in exchange for their loyalty.

If this is the case, you may be able to launch a program that offers new customers discounts that will allow you to compete with them.

Customer Service

Price alone won't necessarily gain customers for your business. This is why it's important to understand the type of customer service your competition is offering.

For example, if your competition reaches customers via social media or promises to respond to all questions within 24 hours, it's good for you to know so you can try and beat what they're offering.

It's also good for you to know if they lack customer service. That way, you can show off your excellent customer service, and gain customers by reaching out to them.

Social Media

Keep an eye out for how your competitors are using social media.

See which social media accounts they are using and how many people are following them.

Also, take a look at how they are using social media.

For example, are they using Twitter to respond to customers' questions? Or are they mostly using social media to make announcements?

Understanding how the competition uses social media can give you some ideas. It can also help you to understand if you have some catching up to do to stay competitive.

Marketing Efforts

Keep an eye on your competitors' marketing efforts.

Keeping up on the way your competition reaches their customers can help you stay ahead.

For example, if your competition is reaching out via print advertisements in the local paper, you may decide it's worth launching or your own campaign. Or, you may decide that social media is the best way to reach your audience.

Also, take a look at what type of marketing effort your competition is using. If they're trying to attract new business by claiming to have the best prices, you may want to launch a campaign that focuses on customer service efforts.

Staying on top of your competitors' activities helps ensure you are able to stay competitive in the market.

It can also help you reach the customers that the competition may be leaving out and it can boost your business.


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