Competitive Analysis Definition

Competitive analysis or competitive research is a field of strategic research that specializes in the collection and review of information about rival firms. It’s an essential tactic for finding out what your competitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your financial well-being.

Chances are there are many other non-medical home care companies out there offering similar services as you.  So, unless you are marketing a one-of-a-kind proprietary service, you face competition.  To dominate over these competitors, are you prepared to gain an edge over them?  Just knowing what they offer is not enough.  It is important to regularly conduct a thorough competitive analysis in order to stay one step ahead. I recommend conducting a competitive analysis every six months to a year.

Why is it Important to Research Competitors?

Competitive analysis is strategic research that specializes in the collection and analysis of information about competitors. Essentially it is a strategy for finding out what your competitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your financial well-being.

How to Conduct Your Competitive Analysis

  1. Identify Your Top Ten Competitors

Do you know who your top 10 competitors are?

Every agency has competitors that offer similar products or services.  If you don’t know who they are, now is the time to find out.  Start out by conducting an internet search for your direct competitors.  Google is a great resource for this as you want to know what their rankings are on the #1 search engine.

  1. Analyze and Compare Competitor Content

Once you’ve identified your competition, you are now ready to give them a call, or “Mystery Shop” them.

The reason for the call is to determine how a customer is introduced to your competition.  You’re going to take that information and improve upon it.  Here is a Competitive Analysis Questions Form to help you with this exercise. 

Once you’ve conducted the call and captured the information, you can determine the quality of your competitors and most importantly you can see how it compares to yours. Are they doing anything that you aren’t?

  1. Determine How they Close the Sale

So far your competitors have the same type or similar services as you.  So what are they doing differently from you?  Better?  Worse?

A prospective client wants to know what it’s like to work with your agency.  Were you greeted warmly?  Were you shown sympathy?  Did they identify your pain point and focus their answers so they are tailored personally just for you? How did they make you FEEL?

How do they conclude the call?  Do they ask to set up a home visit?  Or do they just leave the conversation open-ended?  To stay competitive, you must excel at reading your prospective clients, making them feel safe and secure by your expertise, and setting appointments for home assessments. 

  1. Look at their Pricing Structure

Many prospective clients shop by price.  In home care, the often inexperienced caller will ask how much services cost before asking any other question.  The reason is that they most likely do not know what other questions to ask.  How does your competition handle this question?  Do they just rattle off prices or do they redirect the potential consumer with open ended questions.  The whole point is to get a potential client excited about the kind of services being offered and not focus on price.

  1. Identify Areas for Improvement

After performing a competitive analysis, you now have a better idea and understanding of what other agencies are doing.

Take all the information you gathered about each competitor and identify particular areas that need improvement.  Most likely you’ll end up with a long list of areas that could use tweaking.  I have found that most agencies seriously lack effective phone skills.  And phone skills is your first impression with a potential client.

Not only will you be able to identify key areas that you can improve upon, you can laser-tune your skills to stand out in a very competitive pool.  Trust me when I say that there is tremendous room for improvement and you CAN stand out.

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Patti Urban, CSA, Owner of Your Savvy Assistant, is a business consultant for non-medical home care agencies.  She can be reached at http://www.yoursavvyassistant.com.

Patti Urban