Continuous research and assessment are an important factor in the longevity of your business. Market research is one of the most crucial building blocks of any new as well as grown-up businesses. It includes the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. Market research allows you to make changes and swiftly promote your business without compromising your actual position in the market. It is a vital step before moving into a new business or planning to uplift an existing one, as it saves your money from failed projects.
As nowadays, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred globally, many of the companies are facing serious financial difficulties. The main reasons include precautionary shutting down of the markets on an almost global level, as well as the online sale and purchase of goods and services. So, in this condition of financial issues, it is quite good to research your competitors and suppliers so that you may outstand the competition or at least improve your business a bit more than others.
However, governments all over the world have taken initiatives to settle down the competition so that the availability of goods and services, especially food, does not become a global challenge. This study covers some benefits and important reasons to research your competitors and suppliers continuously.
WHO ARE YOUR COMPETITORS?
All businesses have to face competition. Every one where your customer can spend his money instead of you is your competitor. Competition is not just another business offering a substitute, and it may be a similar product that takes your money away from you, making it redundant. Today, with the increased use of internet marketing, you do not only have to compete with your immediate neighbor but also with businesses from other countries.
Types of Competitors
There are three main types of Competitors:
- Alternative competitors.
A direct competitor is another firm that offers the same solutions to meet the needs of your customers as your business does. Direct competitors meet the most visible competitive pressures that most companies endure, even though they are only one.
Indirect competition is a battle between dealers whose products or services are not the same but who can still meet the needs of consumers. This term is in stark contrast to direct competition, in which companies are selling products or services that are mostly the same.
An alternative competitor is another company offering a product or service that users can use instead of adding your product or service.
WHO ARE YOUR SUPPLIERS?
A supplier is a business or a person who provides products or services to another person or business. It is like an intermediary between the manufacturer and retailer. The supplier purchases high-quality products at a good price from the manufacture and provides a retailer for resale.
A supplier makes sure that the stock is of sufficient quality, and the communication is forth-coming.
As the markets get saturated with different competitors, companies need to work closely with their suppliers to get the best out of their products.
HOW CAN YOU ASSESS YOUR COMPETITORS?
Market research involves collecting and analyzing information about your competitors and suppliers. There are many ways to assess your competitors. For example, you can get to know your existing competitors through advertising, exhibitions, trade fairs, and many more. To assess your competitors, read about them. Look for ads or articles in the mainstream publications or trade press. Get to know their marketing strategies and their contacts. Ask for a trial in the case of online business competitors.
Researching your competitor is far easier than it may seem. While researching your competitors, keep in mind to collect information about their prices, quality, customer service, and if their marketing material is as engaging as yours. Keep a record and evaluate the information you collected about your competitor and find out the gaps in the market that you can exploit. This also indicates the situation of supplier saturation in your area of the market.
Check for what you can learn from and perform better, what they are doing the same as you, and what they are doing worse than you.
WHY SHOULD YOU RESEARCH ABOUT YOUR COMPETITORS AND SUPPLIERS?
Nowadays, due to COVID-19, many companies are facing financial difficulties, mainly because most of the customers have switched to online shopping where they can browse and give a try to different companies providing the same products or services. In this situation, running your business smoothly and coping up with the competitors is quite difficult. Even you may lose your customers, and your competitors may lead the market.
However, you can achieve success by optimizing your marketing and sales according to your competitor research. Knowing about your competitors and their offers can make your marketing, products, and services stand out. You can use this knowledge to create marketing strategies such as setting up a competitive price and improving your business performance by taking advantage of the weaknesses of your competitor.
If you found something that your competitors are doing better than you, you must update your product, service, or marketing as well as customer service or anything that makes you better than your competitor. You can also opt for changing your suppliers to go for the better ones.
Once you have got the idea, no doubt you can do even better. Once you research your competitors, you get to know their potential to bring about a positive change in the market. Maybe, you have been planning to do so or having a product licensed for a long time before someone else could.
COVID-19 AND ECONOMIC COMPETITION:
During normal days, the competition is needed to keep the prices at their low. Still, in the present condition, when the COVID-19 crisis has affected the markets all over the world, the collaboration has been preceded. The governments have been balancing the defending competitions with some exemptions to competition rules so that the entire economic sectors can survive.
THE ULTIMATE BENEFITS OF COMPETITOR RESEARCH:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when almost all the businesses are facing difficulties regarding sales and finance, researching and understanding your competitors and suppliers is a very useful tool to enhance your business. While everyone else is striving to drive their business on the best pace, market research, or you can say competitor and supplier research prepares you for the global market changes. This is how you cope up with the global market change, and your business will not be left behind.
While you collect and analyze your competitors’ information, you get to know your potential customers and as well as different ways to please them. Through this knowledge, you can effectively plan and develop a strategy to promote your product, service, or marketing. You can alter the suppliers or a specific component of your business, including suppliers, accordingly.
Doing proper homework for researching the competitors ultimately saves your capital from being wasted in failed projects. Market research where saves your money, it also helps you to bring out the most unique and the most innovative project out of the numerous similar ones.
Especially during the present days of COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone is locked in their homes, you cannot get to know the direct customer reviews. In this situation, researching your competitor helps you optimize your products, services, or marketing while being within budget.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has up-ended the markets all over the world. This has led to massive shifts in demand and supply, asymmetry in information and other disconnects in markets, as well as significant uncertainty of the market. All this has changed the dynamics of affected markets and will continue to change in the near future.
These changes are more likely to trigger the market competitors to raise concerns, including fixed prices for the supply of a product, restricted supply, or allocated markets for specific products. Moreover, the deceptive marketing practices, including misleading advertising saying the treatments are effective for the coronavirus, and anti-competitive conduct by the dominant firms will be a threat to other competitors.
To evaluate the competitors and suppliers, you must first know who the competitors are and how do they compete with you. Once understood about the competitors, collect all the information on their product and marketing, including their lowest price, marketing strategies, and quality. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you may improve in certain fields, including changing your supplier.
By proper competitor research, you may also get to know if they have launched or planning to launch a new product in the market. The competitor research does not mean to imitate the values of a competitor, but it means to create a room for continuous improvement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all markets are facing difficulties regarding their finance sector. This is because the coronavirus has heavily affected sales and marketing, leading to uncertain changes in the global market. During this period, where many companies have lost their financial stability, and many others will be going to lose theirs, proper competitor research may be beneficial to run your business swiftly.
Bio – Adrian is the CEO of our sister site Reporting Accounts, he is very active around the web and can be found in places such as VK / VKontact he is well known in the UK worlds of Accountancy and Ecommerce.