One of the questions I ask on my mentoring client intake form is about competitors. I know as bootstrappers we really don’t want to think about what our competitors are dong, especially if it looks like their business is doing better than we are. I definitely don’t ask this question to make my clients feel intimidated in any way about their business, but I do want them to think about it.
Part of the process to create your formal business plan is a SWOT Analysis. You have to research and analyze the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats regarding your business.
Your competitors make up the threats.
For one, analyzing your competition gives you insight into your target market. You get to see how they interact with their audience, the types of content they share and what their audience responds to. Now don’t get me wrong, you’re not watching to copy, you’re using this information as valuable research that will help you craft your own content and social media strategy.
Even more important, if you don’t have any competition in your business you have cause for concern. We know there’s nothing new under the sun, right? Well that means there’s probably somebody out there that’s done something similar to what you’re doing. If you don’t have ANY competition that may be a sign that you don’t have a viable business idea. If nobody else is doing it, it may not be worth pursuing.
I’m not advocating spending all of your free time stalking your competition online, but you do need to know what’s going on in your industry. If you’re in this to win this, you owe it to yourself to do your due diligence.
To your #BabyStepstoGreatness,