Why You Should Keep An Eye On Your Business Competitors
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If you were running in a race, it would be only natural to want to sneak a look over at your opponent from time to time! 
 
It’s just as tempting in business to keep tabs on your business competitors – but is this always a good idea? 
 
Knowing when to keep an eye on your competition (and when to stop!) is a valuable tool in business. You’re in the same industry, so keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing helps by keeping you ‘in the know’ about changes the entire industry is going through as a whole. 
 
There can be, however, some downsides. Paying too much attention to what your competitors are doing can result in business decisions being made for the wrong reasons. 
 
Ideally, watching what your business competitors are doing should be a balancing act. We’ve listed some reasons why knowing what your competitors are up to can be a great thing – or sometimes not such a great thing! 

Why you should:

Fresh ideas –
There may be things that other businesses are doing that you haven’t yet considered. Your competitor, for example, may be doing a roaring trade because they have been opting for sustainable, plastic-free packaging for their products, and so are appealing to the eco-conscious market. You may not have even considered this when designing your packaging, and it may be a huge potential market that you are overlooking.

The trick, however, is not to take every single new innovation that everyone else uses and immediately adopt it into your own business – learn to follow your own instinct and stick to your guns. Just because someone else is doing something new, doesn’t mean that it is definitely worth pursuing.

Find out what makes you unique –
Looking at others will help you find out what is unique about your business – and you can then take this knowledge and make it your USP.

Is there an element of your business that you’re not seeing in others? Do you have a different angle to everyone else? Is there gap in the market that you could fill?

Keep up to date with industry info –
Keeping up to speed with where your industry is going in a wider context is always going to be beneficial for your business.

By keeping up to date with new developments in other businesses in your industry, you will stay ahead of the curve. Being able to adapt to new changes can mean the difference between a business that struggles and one that lasts!

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee”:

Ever heard of this phrase? Simply put, it means that trying to appeal to everyone will appeal to precisely no one. Trying to incorporate too many details into your product or service will mean that what you do have won’t work as effectively.

Don’t get so drawn in by everyone else’s ideas and businesses that you turn your own business into a patchwork quilt of all of your competitors’ ideas! You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, so just focus on doing the best job you possibly can.

Keep up with the Joneses:
There is pretty much always going to be someone who is doing better than you or earning more than you – trying to keep up with everyone else is going to result in you feeling like you’re on a treadmill that’s constantly getting faster and faster. You can’t keep up with everyone, and that’s OK! When you find yourself getting obsessed with following other people’s business moves or bitterly grumbling about their successes, that means it’s time to take a step back and focus on yourself instead.

Lose your individuality –
While keeping an eye on your competitors can help you find out what makes you and your business ultimately unique from them, completely imitating your competitors will, in some cases, make you lose sight of what makes you, and your business, unique. You began your business with a single-minded vision, and now that vision has become diluted.

You’ll know when you’ve lost sight of that initial idea or vision that got you started in the first place; you’ll start to second-guess and doubt your decisions, and you’ll begin to lose confidence in yourself. Ultimately, your existing customers are coming back to you time and again because you’re doing something right. Don’t forget to put trust into your own instinct and ideas!

Your race is your own to run, and it won’t help to constantly keep your eye on your opponent. A healthy interest in your competition is all that’s needed, so that you can save the rest of your time and energy for your own business.

Thank you for reading! If you liked this blog, you might also be interested in the following posts:

• What Is a Buyer Persona?
• 6 Ways to Grow Your Small Business
• Boost Your Sales With Sales Psychology