Part of running a successful online business is doing research on your competition. However, most people aren’t aware that there is a process to doing competitive research. Nine University says learning how to do competitive research properly is well worth the effort as it saves you time and money down the road and spells the difference between success and failure in your online business. In this article, Nine University talks about the vital concepts of competitive research when starting your own online business.
“Most people have never heard of competitive research,” Kale Abrahamson of Nine University begins. Competitive research is a part of market research that looks at the area involving your competition – what they’re offering, the terms they have, and what their business looks like. It also looks at how popular the product or service is according to Google, and what keywords are the most popular. “This will give you the metrics to tell you if your business will be successful or not,” he says. Kale says most new business owners neglect to do a proper competitive analysis. “Why wouldn’t you want to know ahead of time if your business was able to make money in today’s market?” he asks. That’s something that market research can tell you.
“I had a client that wanted to start a business recently,” Taylor Hiott of Nine University explains. “We thought it actually was a pretty good business concept, but there was very little keyword activity in Google when we researched.” This means that, although there was a local market for what we wanted to do, there just wasn’t enough interest on a national level to create a sustained income for the long term.” This isn’t bad news, he adds. “It’s actually considered good news since it keeps you from making mistakes that will cost you later down the road after you’ve invested thousands of dollars.” Some of the things are easy to figure out, Taylor Hiott of Nine University explains. These include making a list of your biggest competitors, either from your own personal knowledge or those that rank highest on Google. “I like to look at the top 10,” he says, “even though I don’t do analysis on all of them.”
Kale and Taylor’s online school, Nine University, teaches some of the things to look for when doing competitive research:
- Determining your and your competitors’ USP (unique sales position). What is it that will set your business apart from competing businesses?
- Learning your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Here you’ll look at what has worked in their business and what hasn’t. Sometimes competitors will have a great idea, but they’ll execute it poorly. With the proper analysis, you’ll be able to see exactly what didn’t work for them. Maybe they had an ad that wasn’t professional enough or maybe their landing page didn’t include all the necessary things that we know are needed for the highest conversions. “Or maybe their campaigns didn’t include retargeting, or they retargeted the wrong people in the wrong way.” Either way, it’s good to figure all this out ahead of time, Kale of Nine University says.
- Finding new opportunities. By analyzing your competition’s numbers, you’ll be able to find new opportunities that they haven’t taken advantage of. It’s important to differentiate new opportunities, Taylor of Nine University says, from the things that they have tried and failed at. “There’s an app for that,” he says with a smile.
- Gathering ideas. Some competitors don’t want to sell everything, and that’s where you can come in at. For example, instead of just having a website that specializes in NFL hats, you could add on some NFL accessories that go along with hats. This is just a simplistic example, Taylor of Nine University adds, since there’s obviously a lot involved.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, Kale and Taylor explain. Nine University teaches their students to look where your competitors sell their products, how and where they interact with their customers, where they advertise, the price range of their products and choices offered, their branding, and their delivery and distribution methods. All these things are important when you’re starting a new business, Kale of Nine University says. Even one item not researched can affect your future business, so it’s something we’re very careful with.
To learn more about Nine University’s methods for new online entrepreneurs, visit their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCqWqRlHUMH-TiG0KbA8ayw. For Nine University’s free Amazon training, visit https://www.nineuniversity.com/homepage1234/.