“Whatever he is doing I want to know, in fact I need to know because he is catching 19 more hauls than I am, I have caught only 12 hauls and it’s not good”
This is a quotation from a documentary about 3 fishermen with varying success I was privileged to watch.
Whatever sector you operate in, there will always be other businesses plan competing in your field and you may be competing on the basis of price, promotion, differentiation, products and quality. You have to make it your business to know what your competitors are doing, how they cater for their customers and what strategies they use to gain competitive edge so that you can make your choice of competitive strategy.
These are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Who are your key competitors?
- What positions do they occupy in the market place?
- What do they currently offer consumers that you don’t?
- What competitive move are they planning to make?
- What are their USPs?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What competitive moves do you anticipate from your competition?
- What do they do better or worse than you do?
If you are able to answer these questions correctly, and keep up to speed with what is happening in your market and sector and external environment. This will help you monitor and assess the moves and actions of your competitors, gain information you need in order to act pro-actively to avoid detrimental effects on your business. This will also help you understand your competitive position better and help you make strategic and tactical decisions.
The main areas you need to focus on during competitive intelligence are:
- What your competitors are doing – their strategies
- What they are doing on a day to day basis – their operations
- How their customers perceive them – their customer perception
- What direction are they moving in the market, and how well are they positioned to move with the market – their prospects
If you are able to cover these points consistently and persistently, and pro-actively develop strategies and tactics for competitive edge following tried and tested systems, you will succeed. There is significant opportunities to capture share from the competition.
To Your Success