Here’s a list of things you can research online to learn more about your market:

  • Google your business. Is your website the first thing that comes up? If not, what does?
  • Google some search terms related to your business. What comes up now?
  • Search a map for businesses similar to yours. How many are in your part of town? What part of the map do you consider yours? Do your customers come from your local area or from farther away?
  • What hours are your competitors open?
  • Search a map for businesses complementary to yours. Can you run a joint promotion?
  • Google your business, plus “deals,” “sales,” “coupons,” etc. Is anyone looking for a deal? Can you provide one?
  • Read your competitors’ reviews on Yelp. Are they doing something popular you can emulate? Are they doing something wrong you can avoid?
  • Are you listed on other ratings websites relevant to your industry? The Better Business Bureau might be a good place to start.

You might have some immediate ideas for improving your business. Plus, information about the competition has a habit of coming to mind when you need it to make a decision.

By Sharon Campbell