Why You Must Watch Your Competitors

A good knowledge of your existing and potential competitors is critical to planning in your business.

Someone has said that "A strong competitor is a business who sells the same product to the same customers that you do". A weak competitor is someone who "takes up a lot of your time but really poses no threat to you and is just a nuisance".

Any competition should not be treated lightly because a business that looks small may develop into a major threat. You must do research to find your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and then set down a plan of how to respond. Many small businesses who don’t have enough knowledge about their competitors could be putting their business at risk because, as they say, knowledge is power in today’s competitive climate.

In any event, by doing thorough research on your competition a lot can be learned about the market place, what is successful and what is not, mistakes that should be avoided, how the business should be presented to customers, what trading terms should be given to customers, which suppliers best suit your business, as well as other areas in the management of the operation.

Those competitors in the industry who have had a long track record and appear successful should not only be respected because of their obvious success, but should be copied as much as possible.

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