In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, it is becoming increasingly important to be aware of your competition. It is not just the activities of competitors you are currently monitoring that you should take notice of, but also the potential that new, indirect competitors may emerge.
The rate at which new technologies are being developed, in addition to becoming increasingly affordable, means that competition may arise suddenly, and from unexpected places.
A good place to start is by listing your top five direct competitors and your top five indirect competitors. A direct competitor is someone who offers a very similar product to your own, while an indirect competitor is someone who may steal market share from you by offering a different product.
Once you have listed your major competitors, you should make a comprehensive list of all of their strengths and weaknesses. From here, you will easily be able to see what advantages and/or disadvantages your business is facing, and hopefully succeed in addressing any issues before they become seriously detrimental.
You should also consider how you can capitalise on singular advantages that your business may have, for example, your location or a consistently loyal customer base.