As an ethicalpreneur (new word!) we often feel uncomfortable about 'checking up' on our competition. We often feel it's not right or sneaky. I absolutely disagree. As a business owner, you absolutely NEED to know:
Who your competition is?
What they’re up to?
I’ve put together my top ten tips for making sure that you do this effectively and ethically.
As part of your daily business operations, keep your eye on what’s happening in your business areas and stay on top of news and current events that relate to your business. So if you’re a yoga teacher, what new styles are developing? What’s the latest yoga scandal lol? A good entrepreneur must be constantly monitoring what's going on in the market, and holistic businesses are no different. Make it part of your regular routine.
To stay on top of important trends, sign up for Google Alerts and other alert programs. Identify keywords that are important to your business and sign up for these services so that whenever someone posts that keyword online, you'll be notified. So again, if it’s yoga, YOGA would be your keyword or if you want to keep an eye on a particular brand or yoga teacher or style, get that in there.
3. Subscribe and Search on Social Media
Use your social media accounts to subscribe to news services and other sources of information. Twitter and Facebook are great for this and you can even save searches within these platforms. Seek out news sources and thought leaders, and pay attention to what they post in your area. Always follow your competition on social media.
Read your competitors' blogs, follow them on social media, sign up for their email lists and check out their websites occasionally. You may find valuable information you can use for your own business. This isn’t unethical or stalking, this is just common sense. You are not and should not ever copy someone else’s work, you’re just keeping abreast of the news and looking for inspiration on how you can work smarter.
Use social media not only to watch trends in your market but also to listen to your market. Engage them with content that encourages them to communicate with you and with each other. Listen to their discussions with one another to discover how they feel about the companies they buy from.
6. Survey Your Peeps
Find out what your market really thinks directly by offering surveys and polls. Use your social media site to ask them direct questions about products and services. Conduct focus groups online or off to get your market's opinions. This is SO important to making sure that you deliver you’re your tribe wants and needs. If you don’t ask, then how on earth will you know??
7. Analyze it!
Use analytics tools to analyze the behavior of your peeps and your market. Google Analytics is a good, free place to start. It monitors visitor behaviour on your website. Most social media sites, blogging platforms and other marketing channels have their own built-in analytics that show you how you're doing.
Anywhere you have communication with your market, run your ideas by them. If you're thinking of developing a new type of class or offering something new from your company, ask your customers what they think. They may provide you valuable input that helps you create busier classes and more in demand services. This is also a good chance to establish valuable, real two-way communication with your tribe.
9. Offer Layered Pricing Options
A good way to monitor your market in terms of price points is to offer several different packages for your goods or services. Offer one package that's stripped down and others that have added features, each with a different price tag. Through sales, you'll discover how much your market likes to spend on products such as yours. So you could offer an ‘all the frills’ massage bundle package for 3 months or a one off basic massage only package. You get the idea.
10. Go to Expos!
Attend conferences and trade shows in your industry. So if you are a yoga teacher (again) the obvious place is to get yourself down to the OM Yoga Show. You'll learn a great deal about what's going on currently, what's new and what's projected for the future. This will provide a great source of inspiration for your own work and also you get to network and pick the brains of other ethical business peeps and teachers.
If you loved this blog, you might want to know that it’s the last chance to purchase my 4 Weeks to Business Goddess training at only £69!! The course launches on 1st Nov 2015 peeps. Sign up now before the course goes up to £199!! You can find out more and purchase it here
What about YogaBellies?
If you're a yoga teacher or would like to find out more about becoming a YogaBellies Teacher, you can email me on email@example.com to be sent a full prospectus. We offer a complete franchised business package your yoga teachers who want to have a sustainable, ethical career as a teacher but want to all of the 'business stuff' taken care of for them :)