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Know Your Competitionby James J. Jones
You will want to know what their successes have been and what their pitfalls have been as well. You will want to avoid making the same mistakes that they have, but it is always good to know what works as well if you plan to compete. In some cases, you may find that the best way to compete with your competition is to not compete at all, especially if they have established a long and trusted reputation with their consumers. There are several methods to compete in a more underhanded and discreet fashion.
You do not want to alienate your competition or build feuds with them because they can be a source of great help to you if you know how to approach them. Here are some good examples of ways that you can create a good rapport with them.
1. Offer to be an affiliate of theirs. This way you can ensure that they will send business your way if they cannot meet the present needs of a customer that you can supply.
2. Try to market your prices at a better bargain than your competitors. If you can't, then consider offering additional products or services for the same price or at a very low markup. Sometimes offering an additional service at 50% off may be all it takes.
3. Assess your competitor's success rate. Learn what they are doing that is so great and offer something better or at a more reasonable price.
These are just some of the things that you can do to present yourself in the best light possible when dealing with your competition. Of course nothing beats putting yourself in your consumers' position. You must think of what you would like so that you can best compete in the market.
You should also keep your eye on their marketing and promotional techniques because it will help you to keep up with them better. All of this should be placed directly in your business plan if you want to show that you are prepared for the tasks and potential problems that can arise.
You will want to know how the competition is faring in the market also. You do not want to get into a market that is already unsuccessful. You must assume that if your competition is doing badly, that the market isn't as good as you may have hoped. Naturally you should double check your information because it is possible that your competition may just not be meeting the current demand properly. If this is the case, then you should look for the best way to meet the need in a better manner.
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