Competitor analysis never stops. How to get it right, every time.

Competitor analysis never stops. How to get it right, every time.

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and your business needs to adapt to survive – otherwise there’s a chance you may get left behind. Competitor analysis, and business in general, is a neverending race – and you need to keep up the pace in order to remain competitive.

Company searches form an integral part of business strategy, they inform your business on the latest updates from competitors – and they give you a solid foundation on which you can build a better company by making solid data-driven decisions.

Competitor research, or competitor analysis, is a continuous process – so it’s all the more important to do it right, and keep doing it right. But what do you do with a company search from Company Search MadeSimple to make sure you get it right – every time?

Firstly – A Note On The Importance of Competitor Analysis

It should be obvious, but it’s very easy for a businesses to put off competitor analysis – or do it less and less regularly over time. This is not a good idea, it makes you much more susceptible to risks like a rapidly growing startup eating into your market share.

The importance of competitor analysis, and regular competitor analysis, cannot be understated. Your competitors keep your business going in a way that nothing else can, it gives you an edge – and a savvy business needs all the edge it can possibly get. Bill Gates put it well in 2008 by saying “Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes”.

Getting Competitor Analysis Right

It’s easy to say that you need to get competitor analysis right, but how exactly do you do that? You might find it easier to find out what the ‘correct’ methods are by viewing some examples of what constitutes good and bad competitor analysis – so let’s look at some examples.

What is GOOD competitor analysis?

Good competitor analysis is:

  • Accurate – Your information must be absolutely clear, otherwise there is very little point in having it at all. There are numerous ways to do this, such as using a company search service like ours which is synced with Companies House and checking on your competitors regularly.
  • Quick – Sometimes you need to make a search in a hurry, maybe you’ve had a disappointing month and want to find out what’s changed with your competitors right away – or perhaps you’ve just heard of a big new startup – if you can find information on it quickly you can more act on that information.
  • Actionable – The most important thing about good competitor analysis is that you have to be able to act upon it. This means you need to research actionable data, and not just mine information for the sake of it.

Essentially, there are a lot of different criteria you need for good competitor analysis – but the characteristics highlighted above are some of the most important ones.

What is BAD competitor analysis?

Bad competitor analysis is:

  • Out of date – The worst thing you can do for competitor analysis is find that your information is out of date. The latest information is the only real information that you can use. There is very little point in actioning anything based on old data.
  • Poorly defined – Your competitors need to be defined within your specific industry and sector. Including companies that are not necessarily part of your field is an exercise in time wasting. There’s no point finding data that is not relevant.
  • Not Customer Focussed – You compete with other businesses for clients or customers, so make sure all of your research is there for the ultimate goal of pleasing customers – otherwise you’re not focussed on the right area.

Being able to gather data on a particular company is not the be all and end all. It’s about compiling accurate data and creating a competitor analysis model that is truly useful.

Taking A Look In The Mirror & Assessing Your Own Business

Competitor analysis is very important, but it’s also important to take a look at your own company. When assessing your own company think of the following. You can get a good idea of how your business is perceived by checking the credit limits and ratings of your company, but there are some other things you can do including:

  • Products – Be honest and assess how your products compare to your competitors. Do you have the same features or equivalent features? If so, take a look at them to assess them properly and determine how you can improve them.
  • Prices – Analysing your competitors prices is crucial to research. You need to make sure you have a price structure that is realistic compared to your competitors – price is one of the key ways users choose their service, so if you’re charging more consider changing the pricing structure.
  • People – How is your company received? What is your customer service like compared to your competitors – analysing the interactions you have with other clients and customers, and comparing them to your own is a great way to find out whether you’re on the same level as your competitors in terms of service and support.

Self-analysis is a big part of competitor analysis, with a large amount of different information available – it’s important to turn the focus back in on yourself and determine whether you’re up to scratch.

Competitor Analysis Invigorating Businesses – Every Time

There are so many processes involved in running a good business, and competitor analysis is certainly one of them. Getting it right every time is achieved by making yourself more or less constantly active in terms of competitor research.

So, when you undertake a company search with Company Search MadeSimple make sure you keep the above in mind for a more effective competitor analysis experience.

Make sure you check out the rest of our blog for more. Especially the section on ‘Company Search’.

By Alex Novakovic at Made Simple – Follow Alex on Google+

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