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What you should know about your competition

There are many different factors that you need to consider when you are putting together a marketing plan. You need to identify your target market, what they are looking for, and how they shop. You need to choose the right marketing methods that will reach them and decide how much you want to spend. You also need to find out about your competition.

Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that they don't need to worry about what their competition is doing or worse yet, they think they don't have any competition at all. The reality is that every business (no matter how unique) has competition. Savvy business owners will do all they can to find out who their competition is and how they are marketing. Knowing what your competition is doing will be crucial when you are putting together your marketing plan. Do not make the mistake of skipping over this part of your market research since this can be crucial information for your business. Here is what you should know about your competition-
- Who is your competition? Your competition is anyone who sells the same product or service or something that is comparable in quality or price. You should never make the assumption that you don't have competition because your product is unique or special. There is always something out there that comes close to what you are doing. You should also keep in mind that today there are more avenues then ever before when it comes to selling. You should consider not only traditional bricks and mortar retailers, but also companies online, and those that sell directly to the public.
- Where is your competition? Not to long ago, most businesses only had to consider their competition as stores that their target market could physically get to. Today, that is no longer true. As stated above there are more ways to reach consumers then ever before. Your competition is not only the store down the street and across town but may be businesses that are out of your state, or even out of the country. Taking the time to do enough market research and determine where your competition is will help you to put together a far more effective marketing plan then assuming your competition is only those businesses that are close by.
- What are they doing in terms of their marketing? Once you identify who your competition is and where they are located you will need to find out what they are doing in terms of their marketing. However, it cannot be stressed enough that this is not because you should copy their marketing but rather so you can see where the strengths and weaknesses are in their marketing plan. When you know how your competition is marketing you can design a marketing plan that helps your business to stand out from the crowd. This is the most effective way to deal with competition.
- How can your business maintain and grow its market share? Now that you have a more complete picture of your who your competition is and how they are marketing you can design a marketing plan that helps your business to maintain and grow its market share. You want to make sure that you are able to position your business as the expert in your field so that your customers turn to you when they are looking for the answer for their need or want. When you know about your competition and how they market you will be able to make marketing decisions that reflect the very best on your business and what you have to offer your customers.

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