Business Cash Advance & Business Financing Alternatives 

Guidelines to Scoping Your Small Business’s Competition

Staying competitive in businessCompetition is often the springboard that helpfully drives companies from their comfort zone into a more profitable zone of increased marketing and customer service. Assessing your competitions’ weakness and strengths helps business owners reflect on where beneficial changes can be made in their own companies. US Business Finance Corp helps clients prepare an assessment of their competition when preparing for business loans or SBA loans.  However, defining how much of your time and resources you spend on an ongoing basis scoping your competition is important.

The best way to define your competition is to define your market (geographical and/or demographical) and your key selling points or unique sales proposition (USP). Then decide whether you can do the assessment or if you need a consulting company or even a nearby incubator company – a business, often sponsored by local government or economic development organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed, to help you. The following outline can guide your research.

  1. Understanding your unique selling proposition will keep you out of the quicksand trap of competing on price. When measuring a competitor’s offer, make sure you find all the ancillary offerings such as finance terms, customer service record, and on-time delivery. When differentiating your product package, include all your customer benefits that raise you above the competition.
  2. Check out the quality offered by the competitions’ suppliers. How do their products differ from yours? Is country of origin a factor in your market?
  3. Solicit and use customer feedback as much as possible! Information provided by your upset customers – or your competitor’s upset customers now patronizing your store – may well be the most honest assessments of your industry as well as your store. Treat the feedback impersonally. If you know what are the traditional complaints your customers have with your industry then you can impliment a successful marketing ploy that exposes and owns up to them at the same time that you show how your store is different (especially if done in a humorous manner). With the admission of shortfalls, the customer sees the ad as rather frank and honest and appreciates businesses that see the industry from their perspective.
  4. As part of a USP analysis between stores, figure out what emotional impact that the products you carry and your competition carries have. As one skin care executive once pointed out, they didn’t sell “make-up”, they sold “hope”. The more your advertising can position your product in the light of its emotional impact, the farther you can move your product from the commodity bin where price is the major (if not only) consideration and closer to an item whose value is more than its intrinsic cost.
  5. How does your advertising material compare? Who is setting the bar for websites? Does your website look better professionally, have better navigation, faster to find key information? Are your local newspaper or magazine ads as well placed and eye-catching?

In the final assessment, scoping the competition is beneficial for your company. It helps you to see your company through your customers’ and your competitions’ eyes. Any ideas that build sales and help solidify your market are long-term pay-off ideas that make analyzing your competition worth it.

Comments are closed.