If you’re a small business owner, you’re involved! Chances are you think about the business nearly 14-16 hours a day. Even when you’re taking the kids to soccer practice or going out to dinner, there’s a voice in your brain going through your plans or coming up with new ideas. You can’t escape it – and truth be told, most of us don’t want to escape it. We’re in business for ourselves because we like it. True, it can get crazy at times, but we like being business owners.
Outside the box. The problem is, sometimes we think about it so much we miss critical details. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our own business is to look at other businesses. Get outside the box. In fact, get outside your industry. Look at what other businesses are doing. Certainly, not every idea or new technology is good for your business. But by looking at other industries, we notice new ideas and new technologies that might be taking hold. These are good ideas to consider somewhere down the road. At the very least, you can keep these thoughts active and do some research from time to time.
Your competitors. The most effective thinking outside the box has to do with your competitors. Do you have 60 minutes you can spare to evaluate your business? If so, spend this time looking at your competitors. When we talk with prospective clients, it’s one of the first things we ask – Who are your competitors? Once we have that information, we do our research.
- Check their websites by thoroughly exploring the menu and content.
- Research their SEO capabilities. Using readily available search engine optimization tools, we can tell whether your competitors have optimized their websites for better search capabilities.
- Review their social media sites. We notice whether they post frequently and consistently. We check their connections. We look for a LinkedIn company page and maybe a Google plus page.
- Explore various directories. Are your competitors listed? And if so, in which directories?
- Find out if they are actively using various public relations techniques to advertise their expertise.
What you will discover. After looking at your competitors, you will see that your weaknesses are exposed. And you will also recognize your strengths. You’ll have a better understanding of why your competitors may be growing – or why they aren’t! And you’ll probably have a good idea of what you need to do to boost your marketing plans to gather more exposure.
Need help? We’re happy to look at your competitors for you. It’s what we do as a result of our initial consultation with prospective clients. And as mentioned in the previous article, there’s no charge. Give us a call at 301-467-2501 and let Make It Count Marketing evaluate your competition for you.