Tracking Your Competitors in the Beading Business Industry

As a beading business owner, you'll quickly find you're not the only one who has a passion for jewelry. Chances are you'll be entering an industry that already has numerous entrepreneurs with the same goal. While this can be reassuring, it can be difficult from a business standpoint.

First, Entrepreneur.com notes you're going to constantly need to keep up on the competition in order to stay afloat, regardless of how many companies are in your industry. Even if you have just two direct competitors, these other businesses are still technically bound to take away from your client base and bottom line.

Next, Inc.com says it's important for you to develop a strategy to gain an edge on your competitors in order to run with the pack. While you might think it's a frivolous concern to stay up to date on other companies in the industry, it's important for your beading business to grow and prosper. Without this inside knowledge, it can be difficult to satisfy your customers and continue to produce viable products over time.

"All small-business owners do [competitive intelligence] in some way or another," Craig Fleisher, a management professor at the College of Coastal Georgiain Brunswick and a former president of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, told Inc.com.
Brafton article

Here are a few ways you can easily stay in the loop in regards to what your competitors are putting out there, as well as industry trends.

  1. Home in on the leaders of your competitive companies. These people are responsible for driving customers to their beading businesses which is why it's worth giving them another look. Oftentimes, you'll see some of the same characteristics in these leaders that you possess yourself--passion, motivation and optimism. However, the best way to gain an edge through this method is to look at what other leaders do that separates you from them.

    For instance, they may operate their storefront differently or communicate in other ways with their customers and employees. Take what you see with a grain of salt, but keep it in the back of your mind to see where you can make room for improvement.
  2. Look at your competitors' goals. Typically, you will find they have similar objectives to your beading business. However, there may be subtle differences that are helping them surpass their competitors in the industry. These factors are worth looking into in order to fine-tune your own business practices.

    Once you have narrowed down your competitors' goals, the next step is to determine whether they have completed them or if they're still struggling to achieve their objectives. Doing so can help you avoid making the same mistakes. It will also give you a good idea of where to set the bar for your beading business regarding you and your employees.
  3. Ask your staff for further insight. Chances are you're not always asking your employees for their input on your competitors. While you might think it's a waste of time to do so, you could essentially be missing out on a gold mine of information.

    It doesn't have to be formal, but consider talking to your staff on a routine basis to see if they have anything to contribute on gaining an edge on the competition. Sometimes, it's those who are most removed from the company that have the best perspective into how the industry is fairing.
Once you have picked up a few ways to keep tabs on your competitors, the next step is to work on a strategy to effectively keep up on other companies in the industry on a regular basis. Similar to creating a business plan, it's important to develop a detailed strategy on how to monitor the industry in order to sustain your overall bottom line.

One way to make sure you're always running right beside the competition is to treat each of your customers like individual people, rather than a single client base. Making the customer experience unique for all of your consumers can make them feel valued and keep them coming back to you.

Next, don't limit yourself to one portion of the market. While it's important to have a target audience, it's also a good idea to keep yourself open to new opportunities. This means keeping an eye on certain demographics who may gain an interest in you in the future.

Although it may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, it's crucial to keep an eye on your competitors for a number of reasons. Even if you're experienced in entrepreneurship, there is still more you can learn by looking to others in your industry. Keep this in mind as your small beading business grows and flourishes.


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