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Competition can feel threatening as a small business owner. However, changing your mindset about competition can benefit your business in many ways. For example, instead of viewing competition as something negative, remind yourself that it forces you to work harder to attract and keep clients. It can also push you to embrace innovation sooner than you would have otherwise. Below we identify other benefits of small business competition as well as strategies you can follow to better use competition to your advantage.

Identifying Your Competition Helps You Find Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s impossible to learn from your competition if you don’t know they exist. Fortunately, finding out who they are is as easy as completing a Google search. For your first search, try entering the zip code of your business along with a few key descriptive words. This should give you several results on the first page alone.

You will then want to check out the website of each business and compare the products and/or services each one offers and compare them to your own in several key areas such as price and client value. If your business falls short in one or more areas, brainstorm what you can do to make your services more valuable and attractive to potential clients.

Find Out What Others Are Saying About Your Business

Discovering feedback about your business and comparing it to that of your closest competition is another way you can improve. One way to start is to bookmark all the major review sites such as Yelp and Google and check them as often as possible. Be sure to respond to all feedback, whether positive, neutral, or negative. While you naturally prefer everyone to write positive things, viewing neutral or negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and do better will help you much more than reacting defensively to it. You can also set up alerts to receive notifications when anyone mentions your business online.

Cooperative Competition Helps Your Customers

Sometimes two businesses can provide the services a client needs better than one can. There will also be times that your firm just isn’t a good fit for a client, but you still want to help. When you work in cooperation with your competitors, it’s much easier to refer a client elsewhere than to tell them there’s nothing else you can do for them. Although it’s true that both you and your competitors want to earn the greatest profit, ultimately one of the reasons you went into business was to help individuals and companies plan and manage their finances. The ability to refer out will help you remain true to your original purpose.

Need More Tips to Effectively Manage Your Small Business?

If you’re looking for how to best use your competition to grow and succeed, the experts at Doerhoff & Associates, would love to help.  Based in Jefferson City, MO we provide professional accounting, tax, and financial assistance that can help you achieve the business success you are striving for. Superior service for small businesses.