Who are your business competitors?
We want to research our competitors now so that we have the option to incorporate any innovative ideas they have into our own business.
By far the easiest way to research your competitors is to do a Google search the results in the section at the top are paying to be there through Adwords. These are your main competitors as they will receive the bulk of the traffic from Google. Go through their websites and see how they operate.
Use tools such as Google Alerts and set it up to send you a free email each day whenever there are new trends in your industry. In addition set it up for your business name and the names of your main competitors so you will be able to monitor when you or a competitor get a mention.
The Google Alerts Page
Another tool from Google which is also free is the Google Trends page here you can research trends within your industry. Just type your industry into the search box and you will find various statistics will be provided.
The Google Trends Page
Google is not the only place to research competitors use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to see what your competitors are saying. You can bet they will announce all their new initiatives here first.
Conduct a survey by contacting your competitors directly and ask how they provide a service that you provide. You may want to consider outsourcing this task to a site like Amazon's Mechanical Turk they can do that type of work incredibly cheaply and you will be doing it anonymously.