Intelligent Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence is a buzzword phrase these days. But many believe that only the big guys engage in it, and the only way to do it well is to have plenty of resources to throw around.
Wrong on both counts. In our work, we see small firms with modest budgets who do a great job of competitive intelligence-gathering, while some large companies don’t even know what good intelligence is!
Competitive intelligence is not based on rumors running rampant through your industry. It’s not about alarmist reports of competitors cutting prices.
Nor is it a one-time effort, relegated to your bookshelf. Instead, do the following:
- Make competitive intelligence integral to your business planning ... with the same discipline you use to establish budgets and sales forecasts.
- Remember that you have more (and different) competitors than you may have thought. Understand all the threats in the market.
- Use the Internet ... but remember that much of what you’ll find there is inherently promotional.
Also, just because a company is privately held, doesn’t mean information on it is unavailable. You’ll just have to dig deeper to find it. And, while you can conduct the research yourself, you’ll probably find that professional outside assistance will ferret out more data ... and do it faster and more efficiently. Now, start sleuthing!