As such, Ms Sally Gitonga, Country Manager at Business Partners International says that “the ongoing monitoring of business competitors has become imperative for business owners wanting to stand the test of time."
Luckily, with the digital age ushering in increased transparency, the internet allows for constant real-time review and analysis of competitor data. From business websites and social media pages, to paid-for advertising campaigns and PR coverage – everything you need to monitor your current competitors is just a few clicks away.
Gitonga stresses that “it's important to always remember that the goal is to innovate, your business to remain competitive and not imitate what the competitor does".
Monitoring the movements of another business should never be a means to blindly duplicate their efforts. She says that, “this should be used as a strategic tool to achieve the following five objectives".
- Avoid potentially costly mistakes
Through monitoring the movements and strategies employed by other businesses, you should be able to learn from their mistakes. Assessing unsuccessful tactics, strategies that seemed to miss the mark, or business decisions that resulted in a loss for other companies will allow you to determine exactly what went wrong and either improve, or avoid potential pitfalls altogether going forward.
- Discover where your business needs work
The best way to pinpoint areas of the business that may need a little extra work is to acknowledge where similar or competing businesses are doing something better. Take time to assess what these other businesses are doing differently and work out how you can adapt aspects of your own business to channel similar success.
- Capitalize on your competitive advantages
Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, will also help you to make your already successful products, services and marketing tactics stand out even more. So be sure to take note of which areas your business seems to be thriving in, and capitalize on those strengths to maintain and strengthen your competitive advantage.
- Remain competitive in your pricing strategy
From a purely practical perspective, ongoing competitor analysis is vital for ensuring your business' products and services remain suitably priced, in accordance with current market standards. If your prices are too low, you'll be missing out on potential profits, and if you're well above market, you may be outpricing potential customers and missing out on sales.
- Identify gaps in the market
By keeping an eye on what other businesses are doing, you'll be able to identify potential gaps in the market that you can exploit in the future. Similarly, it should help in identifying areas of the market that may be becoming over-saturated, which might compel you to focus on less competitive areas.
In closing, “by monitoring their competitors over time, business owners will begin to get a good feel for their overarching business strategy and, before long, they'll be able to anticipate their competitors' next moves. This will ensure you are always one step ahead – something every business owner strives for" Gitonga concludes.
About Business Partners Kenya:
Business Partners Kenya is a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. The company actively supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing, specialist sectoral knowledge and added-value services for viable small and medium businesses. Visit https://www.businesspartners.co.za/bpi for more information.