When did you last check on a business who sells the same products that you sell? Or do you just wing it, assessing how your competitors perform using your instincts?

It is only three months to the start of a new year so this is the perfect time to rethink your strategies based on the strengths and weaknesses not only of your business, but also of your competitors. Do it now and be ready for 2014.

Usually we are more or less aware of our direct competitors – who they are, what their current offers are, how they make profits as compared to ours, etc. For larger organisations, these analyses are backed up with statistics, research surveys and profiling. This is not often true of small businesses, where competitor checks aren’t as easy to do and are often not done at all. Due to a lack of relevant data sources for smaller enterprises, competitor checks are often done on an informal basis. Accurate information on your competitors is often difficult and time consuming to obtain. Without a thorough study of how your business is fairing in relation to your rivals, you may be missing a lot of opportunities.

As someone said, he who knows his enemy well enough is 50% sure of winning. And to help you pinpoint your winning opportunities to edge in the market, we are sharing this practical tool to help you complete a competitor check.

Watch the video below as James Mason from Mindshop runs through a competitor analysis exercise.

After watching this short video, please give us your feedback in the comments section:

  1. What are your 4-5 key success factors in your business?
  2. Among these identified factors, what is the most significant area you could focus on to improve your ability to beat your competitors?

A robust and regular assessment of your competitors is a healthy practice. If you fail to do this you will run the risk of falling behind the competitive blind spot. If you feel you need to review your strategies for 2014, start now with a quick competitor analysis using the exercise above. As always, feel free to chat with us if you need a helping hand.

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