Getting to know your customers isn’t the only way to learn about your market. Studying your competition can lead you toward new opportunities, help you define and capitalize on your strengths, and save you from expensive mistakes.
Spot New Opportunities
Researching what the competition is up to can reveal whole new markets you’ve been overlooking. If you typically sell kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but you discover the highest-valued builders in your area are thriving on retail renovations, it’s worth looking into the kinds of retail display cabinets they’ll be needing. Exploring the ways your competitors run their businesses can highlight opportunities for improvement in your own approach. Maybe you learn your strongest competitors all offer more extensive follow-up services than you do. By improving your after-sale service strategy, you might gain some ground on your competition.
Knowing what the competition isn’t doing is just as useful. No business can be everything to everyone, so your competitors weaknesses leave openings for you. Maybe you’re a framing contractor and you’ve seen an increase in building permits for home additions, yet no other local framing contractor seems to be targeting that market. Positioning yourself as a specialist in the finer points of framing home additions could bring you more business.
Learn from Their Mistakes
Keeping an eye on your area’s top companies can help you see when a company’s management has made a bad decision so you don’t make the same mistakes. If you notice a long-successful contracting company starts to lose its ranking, do some digging to find out why. Were they too dependent on a dying market? If so, you’ll know to avoid entering that market and to stay alert for signs of over-specialization. Did they try to expand too quickly? If they went from building only medical facilities to working on every type of commercial project within a few years, that’s a good indication to take your own company’s expansion a little slower.
To learn more about using data on your competitors to strengthen your business, contact us at Construction Monitor.