So you have everything you need in order to establish a powerful online presence. You’ve got great content, an excellent web hosting service, a professional SEO firm on your side, and a multi-faceted marketing campaign well underway. Your Facebook page and Twitter feed are buzzing along, your fan base is rising, and your orders are rolling in. Time to sit back and watch the wheels turn for a while, right?
Nope. Just because your business seems grounded and growing doesn’t mean it’s time totake a break. You’ll need to frequently scan the landscape for potential market changes and threats to your enterprise, and that means keeping an eye on your competition. Your online presence may seem strong, but what percentage of your target market do you actually control? How many potential customers are out there patronizing your online competitors instead of you, and why? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to find out.
First, determine exactly who your competitors are. If your target audience is local, your local competition is probably your biggest threat. Generate a list of businesses who appeal to your key market and visit their webpages. Do an honest comparison between these sites and yours. Check out your competitor’s reviews on Yelp other feedback sites, and take a look at their Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds to find out what opportunities you may be missing.
Read between the lines, and no matter what you find, stay open-minded and flexible. Don’t reject any new idea or potential change until you’ve made sure it’s not right for your enterprise. Most important, be a good listener. Keep your ears open to any information that can help you please your customers and keep your business a step ahead. Contact SevenAtoms for advice on what to look for and how to monitor the success of your competitors.
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