Tuesday, December 30, 2014

With Your Own Eyes

Almost all businesses struggle with competitive intelligence.  But small businesses have a tougher time with limited resources.  But even the most cash-strapped business owner can gain valuable insights about competition with creativity.  I've always thought the best information comes through one's own eyes.

For brick and mortar competition, there's nothing like the "big sit."  Watch the kinds of customers who patronize competitors and record basic data in a notebook.  What kinds of people are they?  what kind of traffic is generated at peak times and days?  How do they compare to your own customers?  Perhaps an employee, family member or friend can help you gather data from some randomly selected days and times.  A few hours' worth of observations a month can speak volumes about the competition.

And don't forget "mystery shopping".  In-site visits, telephone inquiries and interviews with known customers can shed light on service quality, pricing, menu of products and services, and so much more.  Strapped for time?  Market Tune Up can do the looking for you!

Suppose you are a service provider who works from home?  I'll share some ideas about competitive intelligence gathering tomorrow!

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