Some of your target customers are doing business with your competitors.  Do you know why?  Stop pretending that your competitors don’t exist or don’t matter and find out why they’re getting the business, or making the profit, that you’re not.  Find out what they do well and learn from that.  Find out what they do badly and make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes.

The beginning of wisdom is the recognition of reality…and your competitors are part of your reality. So, first, make a list of your major competitors?  Then, honestly answer these 10 questions:

  1. What products, services, quality, knowledge, coaching or joy do your competitors deliver that you don’t?
  2. In what ways are they smarter, more innovative, better equipped, or have more talented staff than you have?
  3. Do they demonstrate more urgency, consistency or dependability than you do?
  4. Are they better located, more friendly, welcoming or approachable than you are?
  5. Do they respond immediately and solve disputes or problems more quickly?
  6. Are their prices lower than yours on comparable items? Can you easily explain those price differences in a way that customers understand?
  7. Which of their policies are more customer-friendly or flexible than yours?
  8. Are they more trusted and respected than you are…and how did they make that happen?
  9. Do they communicate and build relations more effectively? Do they out-hustle, out-promote and out-market you?  Do they get written about, talked about, recommended, texted and tweeted about more often than you? 
  10. Is their entire business model more relevant to today’s marketplace, while you’re stuck in the past?

So, how will you use these 10 questions to be a more serious student of your competition…and then what action will you take to improve your competitive position?  Remember, your customers are comparing you to your competitors.  It would be a good idea if you do too.   

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