Photo Courtesy of Exfordy
Have you read Chris Brogan’s “You’re Racing – I’m Improving” blog post yet? He admits that he keeps score against a few other blogs, but he emphasizes that his main goal is to improve himself and his business. Unfortunately, if you’re not keeping score, you will miss crucial growth opportunities.
However, you can’t obsess over your competition and their success. You need to keep score for a reason. You need to find out why your competition is becoming successful and look for ways to duplicate that success in your business.
For example, while I absolutely hate the AWEBER pop-up subscription boxes, many people helped their bottom line substantially with this tactic. If they weren’t keeping score, they would have missed this chance.
Additionally, the now deceased billionaire Sam Walton visited variety stores competing with Wal-Mart regularly. He would walk around his competition and find best-practices that he could immediately implement to help his bottom line and I’m sure you know how successful he turned out.
But how can you use the competition to improve your business?
1. Look for Explanations
Did you stumble across one of your competitors that experienced a surge in growth, whereas you didn’t? Well, the absolute worst thing you can become is envious. Instead, you need to learn from their success. You need to find out what caused their growth and try to implement that best-practice in your business.
Oh, and guess what, if you’re a blogger and your competition is a blogger, you don’t need to look for an explanation. You could probably ask and they would tell you.
2. Ride Their Wave
One of the best things about a competitor who experiences a surge in growth is that you can use it to your advantage. You can actually take out your surfboard and ride their wave to the top.
I remember when some major news broke and a blogger I knew ranked #1 in Google for it. They were receiving around 3,000,000 hits per day for a week. Do you know what the best part was? They were still selling Blogads for $45 dollars a week. So, I bought a few and received millions of impressions for practically nothing.
3. Be The Antagonist
Did one of your competitors see a surge in growth because they nailed their colors to the flag pole? Well, you should nail a different color to the flagpole and claim yours is better. Even if you don’t build a huge following, you will find some supporters to support you simply because you’re the antagonist.
4. Build Off Their Success
If one of your competitors launched a successful new product, you should launch a peripheral product that builds off their success. While your sales may be limited to their niche, it is a great way to get exposure
Want a perfect example of this? Think about iPhone peripherals. There are tons of people making a ton of money off of iPhone apps, iPhone cases, iPhone headphones, and the like. These companies use a successful product to launch their products and it works.
The Bottom Line
Time spent in admiration is time wasted. So, if you’re going to look at your competitors success, make sure you’re doing it for a specific reason that will help your business. Make sure you’re looking for specific action plans that you can immediately implement today so you don’t miss any opportunities.