Learning from your competition
As your business grows, one asset that can add value to how you operate and achieve your goals is continuous learning. Change is inevitable and continuous learning, for a business owner, is a strategic approach that can ensure your business survives in turbulent times and thrives in stable times.
Tradies can learn a great deal from self-help, business or strategy books, but they can also learn a lot from their competition. Learning from competitors can save you time, resources and money. Here’s how you can learn from your competition;
Identify your competition
Identifying your actual and potential competitors will help you learn from their failures and successes. Whereas you might know your current competitors, new unknown or potential competitors can be identified using social media or google key word searches. The results can show you other trade businesses in your area or industry.
Understand your competition
Perform a SWOT analysis on your competition to understand were your business stands. Identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats will help you formulate strategies that can help you adapt or innovate your way to beat the competition.
Analysing your competition will allow you to learn from your competition’s mistakes before you find yourself committing the same mistakes, thereby costing your business money, reputation and time. On the other hand, when you understand what your competition is doing well, you can work towards replicating it or even improving what they are currently doing.
Know what your competition is offering
Looking into other factors such as product or service offering can help you structure or even differentiate your products and service. For example, other Tradies can offer a 24hr turnaround time on certain jobs while you offer a 48hr turnaround time.
Know the numbers
Analysing financial and industry ratios will ensure that your pricing strategy is in line with competition and that you are getting the most from your trade business. Industry ratios and financial benchmarks can be used to analyse the market performance of companies in specific industries. Our clients make use of benchmarks to make critical decisions such as pricing and margins.
Know your competition’s marketing strategy
We discussed the importance of marketing and how it can increase your profit. Understanding your competition’s marketing strategies can help you come up with creative marketing approaches that will help you position your company. Analyse your competition’s content, promotions and value proposition and figure out how you can do it better. You can often find this information on social media.
Track your performance
Once you start applying what you have learnt from your competition, it is always advisable to track your performance against previously set goals. Have your initiatives led to an increase in customer enquiries? Have your business processes improved? Or are you at par with your competition in terms of pricing and profit margins?
There is indeed a lot that you can learn from your competition and another asset that you can have in your corner is a professional and experienced financial adviser. This will make your legal, tax or financial planning easier, freeing up your time to grow your business.