“I have no friends and no enemies – only competitors.” – Aristotle Onassis

Knowing your competitors can have a dramatic impact on the success of your business. It is important to take the time to research and get to know them. Analyzing their behavior and learning from their mistakes can give you a leg-up in your industry. Here are 5 things that you NEED to know about your competitors:

1. Their Location

In the world of marketing, location is a deciding factor for the available opportunities of any business. Close attention to your competitors’ circumstances can make you aware of any disadvantages they may have, such as local taxes and regulations. You may wish to emulate their strategies if they seem successful, but sometimes it can be more practical to go your own way; In areas with minimal competition, reaching and retaining new customers is easiest.

2. How Much They Charge

You should always have a good idea of what the competition is charging for related products or services. While it’s not the only metric for evaluating your own pricing strategy, it can be helpful to know what works for others. To find out, visit their websites or make a few phone calls directly to the companies.

Some people prefer to set prices as low as possible, which can enable them to grow quickly. This tactic is especially useful for products and services that can be mass-produced and widely distributed, but it relies on high exposure. Therefore, they often spend a lot of money to let people know that they exist. Other competitors will focus on “early adopters” and keep their prices high because some consumers are still willing to pay.

3. How They Operate

Once you have a basic understanding of your competitor’s business model, it’s time to analyze their operations. You need to know their current products, means of distribution and plans for the future. Pay attention to the quality and quantity of staff in the company. Remember to check their hiring status. If they are a public company, take a look at their annual report. These insights will help you make predictions as time passes and new data is collected.

4. Their Customer Service

The most important aspect of any business is the relationship between the consumer and the company. People need to feel as if they can trust your brand, otherwise, they will flock to your competitors. With this knowledge, you can discover ways to take advantage of your rivals’ mistakes and offer better service. Customers generate the income needed to grow and thrive, therefore any investment in improving their experience will likely have a positive effect on your revenue.

5. How They Market

Brand awareness is imperative for the growth and sustainability of any company. Your competitors remain in the marketplace because people know about them. Learn how they communicate with the public, see who they’re targeting and study their customers’ attitudes. Be aware of their content and loyalty programs that may attract regular visitors. Finally, monitor their Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization performance. A greater understanding of these facets of the business will allow for a more holistic approach to interpreting data and solving problems.