Keep your eye on your competition

Often you get so wrapped up in running your own business, you forget to keep an eye on your competitors. When that happens you run the considerable risk of letting them get ahead of you:  with big promotions, ad campaigns, price cuts, new sales materials, new products, and other marketing efforts that put you at a disadvantage.

It’s smart business to stay current on your competitors’ efforts. Collect their printed sales materials. Compare your prices to theirs. Phone your competitors — anonymously, of course — and see how they respond to new business leads.  Ask your customers what they’ve heard about the competition.

When you’re up-to-date on your competitors’ marketing practices, you’re prepared to counter them effectively, and avoid costly mistakes. Make it an ongoing effort. Markets change continually, and sales go to companies that change with them.

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