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Competitor analysis – it´s easy to do

Smart companies always keep an eye on what competitors are doing and planning and the best part is that it's so incredibly easy to do that nowadays.

Here are tips on how to make an amazing competitor analysis:

1. Call them
The first and smartest thing to do is to call your competitors and ask for their brochures and marketing materials. When you call, you'll also notice how you are treated and how quickly they respond. You'll also find out how fast they are at sending material to customers.

2. Buy from them
If you own your competitor's products it's easier to compare them to your own.

3. Visit them
If they have stores you should visit them, talk to their staff and maybe even be a little difficult to see how good they are at managing people like you.

4. Visit them at fairs, lectures and events
This is where your competitors have planned to show off their very best. Do they measure up? What do they do better than you? What can you learn from them?

5. Download things
If they have a website with downloadable content, a press list, a newsletter - make sure you are included and can take advantage of all the new information.

6. Read their annual reports
It's good to know how they are doing in financial terms, but also to see what they plan for the future.

7. Ask your customers
You want to know what your customers think about your business and how you compare in relation to your competitors.

8. Keep track of their websites
Smile if they don't care about their online presence. Learn from them and borrow smart ideas if they are active online.

9. See if they advertise online
Search for your common keywords on Google to see if they advertise with Adwords, for example. If you don't do it yourself and you notice that they continue to do so, then this may be a good way for them to gain clients. Maybe it's time for you to also start Adwords advertising.

10. Google more
Search your competitors' business names and keywords online and see what they are doing and what others think of them.

There is, of course, much more you can do, but to get a basic competitor analysis down is a very good start.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.