No matter what your member-based business is, one of the big things to look at on a regular basis is your competition. You’ll want to make sure that you’re competitive in your marketplace and the only way to do so is to stay current with what’s happening around you. Many successful businesses, parks and recreation boards, entrepreneurs, and athletes pay attention to their competition to keep their edge.
Here are 3 tips to learn from your competition:
1) Learn, Don’t Copy
You’ll want to learn lessons or get inspired by your competition. Not only is copying your competition generally ineffective, it can make you look bad as a business. However, it’s great to watch out for what competitors are doing, to stay current. You can even look at people doing the same thing in other large cities to get a feel for what works elsewhere, as well as trends that may diffuse into your city, as well.
Look at what is and isn’t working for competitors or similar boards and organizations. Get inspired by what they are doing well and avoid - or improve on - the things they aren’t doing well. Think about why they’re doing something and why it is or isn’t working for them. Learning from others’ mistakes is a great way to avoid making them with your organization.
2) Find Out What Members Think
Use what people are saying about your competitors to your advantage. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, there can be a lot to be gained by analyzing how customers formulate their opinions on a business and its behaviors. Although you shouldn’t let consumer mentality completely dictate your behavior (your organization should have a strong influence in shaping their experience), it is a key factor in making sure your business is grow and sustain success.
3) Be Adaptable
Depending on what’s going on in your marketplace, you may have to learn to adapt to survive. If a competitor is doing really well at taking away business due to a core strength that can’t be beat, you’ll have to find a workaround to gain business in a different way. Adaptability is one of the most important traits of a business for long-term viability. What works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.
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