Maybe you have just started a new business or have been in business awhile. Why did you start your business? Was it because you thought you had a niche idea no one else had? Was it you thought you could do a better job? Did you look at the market and think there is no competitors to worry about? Maybe you thought after looking at the market you had the new and improved widget that would rock the world. What ever the reason the key thing was you started your business.
No matter what business you are in, you will always have someone competing for your market share. To think you are the only one is foolish. Take a look at the world of bars and grills. There are 100’s of thousands of them. They all do the same thing with their own spin. A lot of them are very successful and many of them go out of business. Why do you think? One of the biggest reasons is they feel because they put a sign out front and have a beer to sell that should be enough. Sure lots of them hang on by letting things fall apart and cut staff. That is not success, what is success is the business that steps outside to check out what everyone else is doing. They learn and develop a plan of attack. The funny part about this is the cost is time invested to learn about what you need to do to stay ahead of the rest of the pack.
Here are a few things you can do to be the best at your game:
- The internet! You are at home anyway so surf the net and research your industry. Look at their social media. Look at who is on their staff, see what everyone is saying.
- Go visit your competitors, grab a cup of coffee and talk shop. Believe it or not most of them will engage in small talk to try to learn about what you are doing too.
- Now look at your business, is there anything you can do better from what you have learned?
- Take what you have found and set up an excel sheet report so you can see it. Do this at least once a year to keep track of trends in your area.
You competitors are doing this as well. You have heard the statement "business is war," well there is some truth to that. No one wants to put other people out of business, but they do want to be king of the HILL! Don’t think for one second that this is not the case. Keep your eye on the ball, keep your focus because at the end of the day you will either be catching up or be ahead of the game.
Remember this quote: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer
By Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and military strategist.