In past postings I have discussed the importance of reviewing your past business mistakes, learning from them and most importantly of all moving on (the part that many business owners seem to struggle with). Well here is an extra option that will hopefully help prevent you from making as many mistakes (and believe me we all do) – and that is learn from the mistakes that your competitors make.
Out of curiosity we all tend to take a keen interest in what our competitors are doing and if you don’t you should. Being aware of what is happening within your own market needs to be an accepted part of your business. As you observe your competitors see what they do well and what they do poorly. Clearly both bits of information provide you with an opportunity.
If your competitor makes a mistake that is obvious – perhaps they have changed their pricing structure and they have out priced themselves, or perhaps their latest advertising is ineffectual or their overall level of customer service has dropped and you find out about it, their mistake can help your business to grow. Especially if you take the time to really think about where they went wrong – what was the main cause of their mistake – did they misread their customers, has there been a change of staff or a change of owners or some other key contributing factor?
Being a successful entrepreneur really does involve being a very good observer of many different things that you can learn from or that can have an impact on your business. Learning from your competitors mistakes is one way to avoid making them yourself.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? Think about your main competitor. What have they done well in the past few months and what have they done poorly? What lesson have you learned from what they did poorly? Start reviewing your competitors mistakes – they are probably doing the same thing to you.