When your business is in a state of flux and growth is stalled, your business is becoming toxic. In today’s competitive market, every entrepreneur should think fast in order to survive because if not, you might lose what you built up with all the sweat and tears in just a blink. With a lot of ideas coming out everywhere, there’s a 100% chance your product is not as unique as you thought it was from the start. In a nutshell, the secret sauce to stop this toxicity is to check out competitor analysis tools and do a competitive research.
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Is Your Biz Toxic?
I’m going to do a little bit of a ninja tip. This is centered around the question, “Is your business about to become toxic?” Toxic meaning there may be no turning back. Most people that are toxic, they don’t even know they’re toxic until it’s too late. Is your business toxic? Has your main product either been replaced or are you marketing your main product line different in the last several months? Here’s the question that starts everything. In the last several months, has your main product been switched out or is it the same but it’s being marketed different somewhere in the last several months? If not, I’m going to be so bold to say that there is a chance that you are about to become toxic. This show will prove that if you give it some time.
The question is, “Should a product or a marketing method change, especially if it’s working?” What if it’s still even growing? How in the world would you want to abandon that and start considering it toxic and start changing it? You wouldn’t. If it’s still growing, what you don’t want to do is mess with that. It never can hurt to start a separate track with maybe a slight alteration to a product or maybe the same product marketed in a different vein. What I want to do is walk you through an exercise and once you do this, I’m convinced you will never not do this on a regular basis.
Once a year, you need to tear apart every competitor because you respect them. Click To Tweet
First, you’re either going to do this yourself or you’re going to hire out the following to a virtual assistant. This is some ninja stuff. You’re going to find through tools like SEMrush or SpyFu who your top three competitors selling your main product line are. If your main product line is t-shirts, there are many tools that can tell you who your top three competitors are. If you’re selling t-shirts and you’re doing $10,000 a month and you go to look for competitive t-shirt companies, the three biggest doing a $500,000 billion a year is not necessarily your competition. It is what’s called online competition and what I call pathway competition. Your competitors might be the people in your local area doing t-shirts. It might not even technically be a full-blown t-shirt company. It might be another print on demand for backpacks or something like that. If you put your website into SEMrush.com, there’s a competitive tool in there somewhere that will show what the world believes is your online competition. That’s just one.
Then you want to go to SpyFu and some other tools, but you want to make sure you’re looking for the exact competitors of the similar or bigger size that sell the exact or virtually similar product line. Once you can find out who they are, then you want to do the following. You want to find what exactly is the number one product in those competitive companies in relation to profit. You might be a t-shirt company and you’re doing $10,000 a month. Then you find another t-shirt company in town and they’re doing $25,000 a month. Then you have this virtual assistant or yourself do a deep dive into their website, into their press clippings, watching their videos, following them on social, getting on their email list. Lo and behold, you thought this was a t-shirt company. It turns out they print more on coffee mugs and make more money that way than t-shirts and you go, “I didn’t know that was even a good idea. I didn’t know the same equipment could print on coffee mugs.” You start talking to your friends, your employees and your partners about maybe doing some coffee mugs.
What if you’re a sizable company that has $500 million and some of your competitors are publicly traded? You go to MarketWatch and you read the annual prospectus. If they’re a public company, they end up divulging almost everything including intellectual property because they’re trying to impress investors. They tell you every move they’re making and what they’re doing. You can find out so much great stuff about a company that you typically can’t just by reading the annual prospectus. What you want to do is find your three to five competitors. I want you to read every piece of press they’ve published in the last couple of years. Find blogs, social media, especially LinkedIn, where the management publishes on. If they’re a bigger company, there are three to four people in management that love being social to get the message out and it’s different than the message that goes out from the marketing and PR firm.
You want to watch every video that the management team kicks out because it’s in these videos and on their social platforms, their LinkedIn platforms, in the groups where they then tell you, “It looks like we do t-shirts but behind the scenes, we just make bulk amounts of sweaters for the NFL team.” A lot of what I’m spitting out here are actual real case studies. You’re going to find and watch the management’s video. One of the greatest things to scout on your competition is to get on your competition’s email list and not only see what they’re currently mailing out. When you’re on a mailing list long enough, you see what product lines they’re stopping, what product lines they’re testing, what product lines they’re introducing. Often, you’re going to find out what other companies they’re even partnering on to try new areas.
Here’s how this works. This ninja trick takes three to six months to fully show itself and to vet these competitors. Once you do it, you think you know your competitor until you get in there, but you don’t. More importantly, you thought you knew a good direction to shift your company into. When two or three of the same competitive companies are all shifting in the same direction in another way that you’ve never heard of, you go, “We need to look at this.” Don’t think for a minute that Ford doesn’t have a building in the United States that doesn’t take apart. Every Lexus, every Toyota, every Chevy, every other car and every Jaguar, they tear it apart.
They take apart the cars of their competitors and then they put them back together to find the new techniques of construction to make a better car. Every single manufacturer of automobiles has the same division that tears apart the other competitive cars so they can learn. If all the car dealerships physically break down and tear apart the other cars from their competitors, why don’t you do the same with your competitors? Once a year you need to tear apart every competitor because you respect them. You do it because you respect them and they might know something you don’t know. It is amazing what happens when you tear apart your competition. It’s quite exciting. I hope this helps. Take care.