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Are you thinking of starting a new business or have you done it yet and wondered the crucial questions to ask about competition? America is a nation of entrepreneurs, and small businesses are the leading providers or work opportunities for people. We need great entrepreneurs to continue to propel the economy forward.

If you’re looking to create a start-up, you can’t succeed without understanding what is out there and what the competition looks like; nevertheless, sometimes entrepreneurs don’t know how to approach this task. The way to do it is to identify the right questions to ask.

  1. Who’s Your Competition?

The first question you want to ask is who are your competitors. You might be in a new industry, but the likelihood is that you’re not. The first thing you have to figure out is who your competition is and what they offer regarding products and services. You’ll also want to know how they position themselves in the market. If you were their customer, what would stand out for you about your competitors, their products or services?

  1. SWOT

Once you’re clear on your competitors, do a SWOT analysis. List all of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats your company can face in the marketplace. Be as objective as possible and if possible, bring in trusted advisors who can give you third-party insight. You want to understand what others outside of you and your team think about your company and its offerings.

  1. Differentiation

Think about your products and services in the context of the offerings of your competitors. Consider each of their products or services, even the ones you don’t intend to provide in your company and understand what makes your products better. If it turns out that your competitors are doing something better than you are, or plan to, then think carefully about how you can improve your offerings for the market. Think about ideas and test them, every time you have the opportunity, in the market so you can stay at least one step ahead of the competition.

  1. Customer Relations

Candidly, one of the reasons my companies have had immense success is because we prioritize exceptional customer service and relations. For my team, it’s always about relationship-building, even with our toughest customers. So, as you evaluate your company, think about what your competitors can do better for their customers since this will be an opportunity for you to offer it to them. Be highly thoughtful when you think of how you can develop a customer relations program that will blow away the competition.

  1. Price

When you’re taking your products or services to the marketplace, you have to understand how your offerings compare with those of your competitors. If you’re able to offer a product at a lower price point, is it still something that is of high quality? If, however, your prices will be higher than that of your competitors, what are you offering that will always encourage customers to want to pay a higher price for what you have on the market? When you get to the point of determining price, it is essential to have done the preceding steps because it will help you identify the right price for your product or service and also support your reasons for it.

Once you’ve gone through those five questions, you’ll have a much better sense of not only your competitors but more importantly, vital information that will help you position yourself in the marketplace.

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact”(Free Digital Download)

© 2018 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.