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Do you have a marketing plan in place to help you promote your business to potential customers?

Do you need help expanding your business in order to reach a larger customer base?

Continue to Build a 100 Year Business

Get More Customers

The key to growing your own customer base is understanding your competition.

Your competitors are already succeeding in your market, so they must be doing something right. By researching your competition you can:

  • Find and exploit your competitors’ weak spots
  • Improve your own products and services
  • Learn how your competitors operate so you can stay ahead of them

Know Your Competition

There are several reasons to invest time and energy into learning about your competitors. For one thing, researching your competition will help you determine how to best differentiate yourself from them.

Remember, in order to sell your product or service, you need to show consumers what makes you different or better than what they already have.

Besides that, researching your competition also helps you to better understand market trends. The more you understand your market, the easier it will be to succeed with your start-up.

Another reason to research your competition is that it allows you to ensure that your pricing is fair and competitive. If you charge too little, you reduce the value of your product or service in your customers’ eyes, and if you charge too much no one will purchase from you.

Other benefits of researching your competition include:

  • Gaining better insight into how to target customers
  • Forecasting the potential for the market
  • Understanding what your competitors are offering
  • Figuring out how the economic climate impacts your market
  • Keeping up with your competitors’ prices

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a planning method that identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business venture. This is a powerful business tool, because it can help you identify opportunities that you should take advantage of, as well as weaknesses you should work to strengthen.

An effective SWOT Analysis can also help you determine how to distinguish yourself from your competition.

1. Strengths

The characteristics of your business that give it an advantage over other businesses:

  • What advantages does your business have?
  • What does your business do better than others?
  • What do people in your market see as your strengths?
  • What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

2. Weaknesses

The characteristics of your business that place it at a disadvantage compared to other businesses:

  • What can you improve?
  • What should you stop doing?
  • What do people in your market see as a weakness?
  • What loses sales for your business?

3. Opportunities

Elements that your business can use to its advantage:

  • What promising opportunities are you aware of?
  • What interesting trends do you know about?
  • What is changing right now in your market / industry?
  • What is changing right now in technology?

4. Threats

Elements that could cause trouble for your business:

  • What obstacles does your business face?
  • Are quality standards or specifications for your job, products or services changing?
  • Is changing technology threatening your business?
  • Do you have debt or cash-flow problems?

Before you set any goals for your business, first perform your SWOT Analysis.

Next, think about what your goals are and determine whether they are attainable based on your SWOT Analysis. If the goal is not attainable, you need to modify your goal or change whatever elements of your business that are preventing you from achieving it.

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