Successful business people often hate change. The merethought of making one frightens them. It flat scares some silly.

Successful business people often hate change. The merethought of making one frightens them. It flat scares some silly.

They know what they have, and are unwilling to take evenmodest risk for greater gain. Their fear is they’ll lose some of what they already have.

If you hold such a position, you are vulnerable to moreaggressive companies. You may wake up to the fact that somebodyis gnawing away at your customer base much too late to doanything about it. While this is true both off and online, a webbased business can be devoured far more quickly than one offline.

What Is Required For Survival

If you want to continue to succeed, you must be one of thefew who do the gnawing. You must continue to expand yourcustomer base and increase your profits. While some growth cancome from selling to people who had not previously consideredyour products, the easiest and most direct way to acquire newcustomers is to steal them from your competitors.

Then, of course, you must hold them. Which often amounts to building ever greater customer relationships that support them in every possible way.

Direct Versus Indirect Competitors

If you are selling power mowers, those who sell hand mowersare competitors, but only indirectly. You can push this further,and note those who offer gardening services also compete. Whileyou need to keep an eye on innovations by indirect competitors,your major concern is those who compete directly.

Are Your Competitors Tracking You?

If you haven’t considered this, you may be about to be “eaten.” You must assume at least one or more of your competitors is tracking you closely, looking for ways to bring those tasty morsels that are your customers to their table. To win out, you must move more quickly and effectively than they are able to do. Else your business will be gobbled up a bite at a time until what remains is swallowed whole.

Is Polish Needed?

Never overlook your site. Continuously …

It’s easy to become so familiar with your site that you begintaking it for granted. Within your marketing plan, make certainyou have the above and similar things clearly underlined. Andthat you regularly recheck all aspects of your site and business. Then …

Spy Routinely

Tracking your competition on the Web is so much easier thanit is offline, it’s a wonder everyone isn’t doing it. Doing sowill give you a distinct advantage over all who do not.

Use Alexa which is free. Among otherthings, it reports visits to a site by other Alexa users. Whilelikely not representative of all visitors, the counts reportedcan be compared over time and changes noted. Clearly a surge in counts suggests an aggressive company is doing something right, and you need to discover what it is.

Track Link Popularity

Visit MarketLeap.Com Enter your URL and that of your competitors. You will see at aglance how many inbound links there are to each one. As above,an abrupt jump in links suggests the company is doing somethingyou ought to know about.

Take a giant step forward by checking sites linked to yourcompetitors and arrange a link swap with them as possible. Ifneed be, create a directory of links as a *service* to yourvisitors. Note the emphasis here on benefiting your visitors,rather than your profits. (For further info about how to getthis done, send any email )

Put A Magnifying Glass On Their Sites

A casual look at a competitors site is of little value. The better plan is to visit weekly and examine it closely, seeking to detect all changes. Even something minor can give you an important clue of benefit.

Be Imaginative

The whole of this topic was not covered above. For example,subscribe to your competitor’s newsletters. Visit their forumsregularly. There are a vast number of things you can check on.

Buy a product now and again. Or ask a friend to do so, ifyou’ve worn out your welcome. And somewhere in all this, get a handle on how they are handling complaints and returns. Andtheir general level of customer support.

Continue to explore in every way possible. In theincreasingly hyper-competitive web world, big fish swallow uplittle fish at an ever increasing rate. You must be the”biggest” to survive. Not the biggest companyFree Reprint Articles, just the best at what you do. Size matters hardly at all.

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Bob McElwain
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