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How to find your Business competition

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But in the world of business, especially in construction, a competitor is not inherently a bad thing. Having a competitor is unavoidable and beneficial to the growth of the business. Knowing who your competitors are will help you understand where your company stands in the market. It will help you understand the environment your business is operating in. And it can help you figure out a marketing strategy for your business to stand out and be ahead of the pack. And taking it one step further, it will help you strategize your business development activities and tenders even better.  

By knowing who your competitors are, you can devise updates or upgrades to your current products or services by assessing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. And provide or offer products and or services that satisfy your audience which would help distinguish your branding and awareness. 
To find your competitors you need to conduct competitive research. It is the most basic and necessary step needed in developing a marketing strategy and it’s a secret that successful construction companies do very well.

But how and where do you begin? Let me show you.

Direct vs Indirect Competitors
Before you start scouring and stalking the internet or offices, you first need to understand what direct and indirect competition is. 

Direct Competition
Are companies that sell or market similar or the same products or services as you and target the same audience. 

  • Market research

Take a look at the industry and market of your products and analyze other businesses that selling a product or service that competes with yours. Have a look at construction companies that are winning tenders and working on projects you aspire to work on. Be active in your industry because it will help you identify the key influencers that are dominating your industry, as well as their strength and weaknesses. And from there you can start to develop strategies to outperform them. 

  • Customer Feedback

Ask your customers if they have used products or services that’s the same as yours in the past. You can ask them if they have decided to switch to your product or not and if so, why. You can also ask them if they were considering other companies or businesses in line with yours.
Market research through customer feedback allows you to learn about what makes your business attractive and what your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are. Which you can use to stand out from the rest of your competition.

  • Events

Attend events like conferences, exhibits, tradeshows, and other networking events that are related to your sector or industry. This is another way for you to find your competitors on a local and even national level. 

  • Social media and Online communities

Social media and online communities like Facebook groups, Reddit, and Quora are great places to find out who your customers are engaging and interacting with. You can find information that they post relevant to your business on these sites. These platforms are an excellent avenue for you to explore the conversations and recommendations your targeted audience is having.  

  • Indirect Competition

This refers to businesses and companies that don’t sell the same or similar product and service as you. But they are in competition with you in the marketing space for your customer’s attention. 

  • Google it

Do a Google search for the product or services that you are offering. Analyze the search results. Any of the other search results besides you, are your indirect competitors. If they rank higher than you in the search ranking, then you should consider SEO for your website. 

Build a strategy

  • Keyword Research – is used to conduct an SEO analysis of your website as well as your competitors. This report can determine who is competing for the same space using the same keywords as you on Google.

Use the insights that you get from this report to identify specific keywords that are relevant to your business, where you can outperform your competitors with better content or a better keyword strategy.

  • Social Media – There is more than just information on who your competitors are on social media. You can analyze the digital presence of your competitors on social media. Evaluate where they are focusing their attention on and from there you can either focus your business’s marketing campaign on the gaps left by your competitors or compete directly with them for the attention of your audience.
  • Paid Ads – Scan the keywords that are important or critical to your business on AdWords. Check if there is a lot of competition for those keywords from your competitors. If your competition, whether direct or indirect, is infusing a lot of money behind ads for those keywords then you can be sure that valuable initiatives are being taken by them. With that information on hand, you can develop marketing strategies on how to compete for your targeted audience’s attention.

Where to go from here?

Innovate and Do better
Collect the data you have gathered on how your competition is performing and marketing their products or services. 

You can respond to them by making some changes. Innovate and improve on your current products and or services. It can be changed from how you market your business, changing your prices, upgrading your products, or change in protocols for your customer service to improve. 

Competitive analysis is a vital marketing activity for any business. You can learn from your competition and outperform them. But you must approach it strategically. The evaluation of your industry and its competition is not about stealing ideas or undermining their performance output. It’s about finding out what your strengths, weaknesses, and position is in your market. It’s about collecting data for you to create strategies that work for you and your business to help your company grow and develop. 
There are other ways to find your competitors and how their performing. The options I listed above are tips that you and your business can look into that are above-board. It’s up to you how you’ll execute your competitive analysis. Either way, for you to succeed, you need to do this strategically for your business’s benefit. 

Shivendra helps construction companies and contractors win more projects and grow profitably. Regarded as a master of practical implementation, Shivendra has guided organizations such as Downer and Siemens as well as smaller contractors to achieve double-digit improvements to their bottom line. Underpinning his extensive industry experience are qualifications in engineering and a Ph.D. focused on rapid cost improvement techniques. He is the author of two books, The Competitive Contractor and From Paper to Profit, host of the Competitive Contractor podcast, and the founder of Shivendra & Co and The Constructors Network. You can find more about Shivendra & Co on