The stronger you get in your business, the more your competition will be using you as their standard – their benchmark. So on today’s stage 46, we are going to focus on Benchmarking your Competition. We know that your competition is watching your every move.
Let’s take a simple, methodical approach to benchmarking. We don’t want to make this too complicated. We want our insights to be clear so that we can easily translate them into action items for our next plan update.
To make this more complete and more interesting, I would suggest you enlist some of your team members in this process. The investigative and research work will be both interesting and thought-provoking for them as well as for you.
Your Profit Tip of the Day
Here is a 5 Step Process to help you Benchmark your Competition:
- First, write down the top 5 or 6 competitors in your marketplace today. These will likely be businesses that are very similar to yours but may also include businesses that provide alternative services or newly introduced products or services that you see as potential threats to your existing business. This will become your target list for benchmarking activities.
- Second, dedicate 30-45 minutes to each competitor and spend time researching their business online. Look at their website, make notes or print screen copies of their individual webpages. Collect ads or flyers to get an idea of the offers they are making. See what are they sharing with their customers and prospects.
View their Social Media accounts (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter) to see how they are positioning themselves in the marketplace. What are they reading, who are they connected with, what groups do they follow, what credentials are they promoting, etc. Build a file on each competitor with the major messages that they are sending to prospects.
- Third, build a SWOT analysis sheet for each of your competitors. We did this exercise back in Stage 8. You can easily refer back to the work you did there as a sample of a SWOT. Remember, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You want to outline what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are for each of your competitors. The more data you have collected, the better your SWOT analysis will be.
- Fourth, hold a review session with everyone involved in the data collection. Bring each of the SWOT analysis sheets to the meeting and post them on a wall. Review them side-by-side and look for patterns, trends, similarities and uniquely different approaches. Capture your findings on a flipchart. What do you see when you look at your competition side by side? Who looks to be the competitor with the greatest momentum? Who is trying to change the way the game is being played?
- Fifth, identify your SWOT as it compares with your major competitors. You will need to be brutally honest with yourself for this part of the exercise. Don’t sugar coat what you’re good at and where you need to improve. Do this well and you will identify the critical areas of your business where you need to focus attention and get better.
Now is not the time to make decisions for next year. This is simply gathering and analyzing data. Next, we will engage our current customers and get their inputs on your business.
Once we have their inputs to consider, then we can begin building a plan. Don’t try to come to a quick decision. We want to have multiple views to consider before we build our plan. Nice job collecting the competitive insights.
If you’re looking for more success and freedom from your business, join my FREE, private Facebook Group called The Peloton. It’s where business owners like you are learning, sharing and working together to get better every day! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jointhepeloton/
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