Many do not know their competition well.

They think that just by doing their own thing to the best of their abilities, then it’s enough. That customers will flock in masses to them. That the profits will flow like a running tap.

Perhaps they believe quotes like “The only competition is yourself”, or this classic one “Look in the mirror, that’s your competition”.

The cold, hard truth is: That’s a very naïve way to think, especially in business.

Because sometimes, doing your best is not good enough… You need to be the best of someone else (your competitors).

If you’re new or just starting out, the only way you can create a unique differentiation is by knowing your competitors in-depth, then doing things another way that’s more purposeful, powerful and profitable. If not, you’ll always stay mediocre, or worse… be eliminated by the bigger players.

If you’re more established or one of the industry leaders, you need to know your competitors so that you can constantly innovate your services to stay ahead, and not let them overtake you. Otherwise, you’ll be standing still or moving slow… while faster and sleeker upstarts leave you eating their dust.

So if you haven’t already, go do your due diligence and find out everything you can about your competitors.

Here’s a general checklist to get you started:

1) Their positioning and USP
2) Their rates and/or prices
3) Their target audience and clientele
4) Their marketing activities
5) Their management
6) Their product details

There’s a lot more you can find out, but these should be enough to get you started, and allow you to gain valuable insights into what your competitors are doing (or not doing).