Evaluating Your SWOT Through Competitive Shops
February 11, 2013 Leave a comment
Every good business plan has a SWOT analysis, a honest evaluation of the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Without an evaluation of these elements of your business, whether it is a new business or one that has been around for several years, the plan is really not complete.
While developing or revising a company’s SWOT analysis, a complete look of the competition is necessary. By preforming competitive shops you can make sure that you are taking into account the companies that are trying to take your customers and your sales. Now, I have blogged before about competitive shops before (take a look here and here), and I have specifically mentioned developing a in-depth SWOT analysis. However, you cannot have one without the other.
There are any number of ways to do competitive shops. You, or someone you hire, can preform a “secret shop”. Trade shows are a great place to pick up competitive information. Also, look at the competition’s websites and send emails to those companies to gather other information. Just be sure your don’t use your work email.
The idea is to gather as much competitor intelligence that is not just products, services and prices, but also aspects of the competitions’ business management practices, marketing, and customer service. Don’t just be so laser focused.
After you have done the full complement of shops, you should look at what are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can make business and marketing plans to maximize the positives of your business and minimize the negatives.
How have you performed competitive analysis to grow your business?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “The Rhino Crash Blog…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.