It can be online, in store, or indirect. Regardless, knowing what your competition is doing helps you focus on your offerings and keep them unique.
Using your daily journal is one of the best ways to manage your business.
Record your daily sales, your customer comments, feedback, and special orders. At the end of each month, total your sales, and tag any special orders for completion.
This is where you need to record missed opportunities and ideas for changing your solution.
- What product or service should you add or delete?
- What community event did you miss?
- How can you participate next year?
- What family gathering could be better if you helped?
Look for the opportunities identified in your SWOT Analysis.
Use your Business Journal to your advantage. This will keep your focus on what you have to offer and not your direct competitor.
The greatest challenge here is the sheer volume of competing companies. Each of those will try to have a different product or service to solve the same problem you’ve identified.
For instance, a potential client decides to complete a project instead of paying your fees They get into the middle of it and discover they are in over their head. They call you to see if you’ll bail them out, and what it will cost. Of course you can help them, but there are a few conditions.
- Look for ways to use the products they purchased for their DIY project. Reduce the price you would charge by the value of these items, but not for any labor involved.
- They agree to provide a positive testimonial when the job is complete.
- Take pictures of the project as it appeared before you start on it. When it’s done, use them on your website and/or social media .
- Follow The Clients You Lost
If you give a project bid but lost the job, you need to know why. There are a couple of ways you can find that information if the client won’t tell you.
Be sure your project/customer questionnaire includes an email address, and one social media account. Go find them and like/follow them. You don’t need to comment on their site, just watch for their comments, etc. about the project.
Identify Your Competition
- Google That - use your keywords to find 1st page, not sponsor companies.
- Use UberSuggest – and search your keywords for other businesses targeting the same potential clients.
- Find what customers are saying using various social media accounts.
- Make a New Habit – spend an hour a month checking these targets and your customers.
There Is one other tool you can use if your competition is online or brick and mortar – Secret Shoppers. There are a number of templates available if you want to create your own checklist. You can hire a large national firm to shop your competition or find a local firm who offers their services.
Try to do your research each month using the same keywords and methods. Keep track of the results in your journal and after 3-6 months, try other methods. Keep informed.