The thought of your #1 competitor may make you tense up, but if you can see past the red, there’s a lot you can learn about running a business and attracting more customers. Take some time to look over the competition and see what you can glean from them. What exactly can they teach you?Little-Boy-In-Front-Of-Chalkboard-With-Lightbulb-Above-His-Head

#1 What Your Target Customers Like And Don’t Like In A Company

We hope you’re already reading your own online reviews and responding to all of them (positive & negative), but there’s a lot to be learned from your competitors’ reviews as well. What are their customers saying about them? What are the good things that come up again and again? The bad things? Use that information to identify what you could implement or focus more on to entice those customers to consider your business. If your competitor’s customers always rave about how good their cleanup is, make your cleanup process and the lengths you go to to keep your customers’ homes clean a focal point on your website and in your marketing. If your competitors’ customers give low ratings because of poor scheduling experiences, make sure your scheduling process is easy and pleasant for each and every customer.

Listening to your competitors’ customers will give you insight into what to do more of and what not to do. And because very few business owners take the time to really reflect on what their customers are saying and implement change, you can likely count on your competitors to keep making the same mistakes in their business. Let them make those mistakes while you learn from them! You’ll end up with a better business and happier, more loyal customers.

#2 How To Differentiate Yourself

Take a look at your top three competitors and make a list of their similarities and differences. Is there something they all do right? Something they all do wrong? Spend some time thinking about how they look from the outside, how you compare, and what you could do to differentiate yourself from the pack. Use that in your marketing and on your website and make yourself stand out!

Note: You never want your customers to choose you solely because of price, so make sure that what you choose to focus on is not price-related. As a generalization, price-driven customers are not loyal, and what you want is loyal customers with high customer lifetime values.

#3 Just How Good You Need To Be

Many entrepreneurial minded people have a desire for things to be perfect. We want every little detail to be just right before launching a business, service, or product. But guess what: your competitors can show you just how good you need to be, and spoiler alert, you don’t have to be perfect. Look at your best competitors and make a list of things that are important in business — things like customer service, timeliness, cleanliness, and quality. Give each competitor a grade for each factor and figure out how they rate. Do they get a C for timeliness? Then you can start by making sure your timeliness score is a B or higher. Do they get a B for customer service? Then you’ve got to get your customer service up to an A.

Always strive to be your best and offer your best, but start by being better than your competition. Three in five Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience, so make sure you’re delivering a better customer experience than anyone else, and keep working to make it better and better.

Go Forth & Conquer

Some of the greatest secrets in life are learned through our successes and failures — but why not learn from those around us? Spend some time reflecting on and learning from the mistakes and successes of your competitors and you’ll reach your goals faster and with less hiccups. It’s a win-win for you and your company!