Research Your Competition

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Have You Watched the Game Films?

Like a Football Coach Getting Ready for the Big Game – You Better Know Your Competition

Even if they don’t know you. You have to know your competition.During the week, as the players on the field practice, the coach sits in the office, watching film from his next opponent’s previous game. He wants to know as much as he can about their strengths and weaknesses, when he can rush the quarterback and how good their defensive is. The coach needs to prepare for the “big game” as much as the players do.The preparation the coach and the team do before the game often allows the underdog to win the big game. You’ll find the same holds true in your professional tax preparation business.

How to Learn More About Your Competition?

There are a lot of ways to find out more about your competitors. Let me share with you a few of them.

  • Become one of their customers: Get a first-hand look at how they treat their customers and the types of services they offer. By becoming a customer, you’ll actually see how well they keep their promises and follow through. As you interact with your own clients, this becomes valuable information that is difficult to obtain any other way.
  • Call and request information: If you don’t want to become a customer, you can call and request information as a potential customer. Find out how professional or amateurish they seem. If they produce any literature about their service or willingly offer pricing information over the phone or through the mail, this is great information to have. It helps you get a handle on how to position yourself as you prepare your pricing and literature. (But remember, many companies have caller-ID, so you might not want to call from your business phone.)
  • Search their Web site: If they have a presence on the web, become familiar with what they say to their customers. You need to know their sales message as well as you know your own. If they offer a newsletter or other e-mail correspondence, sign-up. It’s a great way to find out what they are saying.
  • Study the Yellow Pages: You may not find specific information about your competitors there, but you can get a handle on who your competitors are. It might surprise you to find that there aren’t as many as you think. Don’t overlook the Yellow Pages.
  • Talk to current customers: Conduct a survey or send out a questionnaire to learn more about your competition. Most people welcome the opportunity to express what they like and don’t like. It’s human nature to want to offer help. Ask for it… and you’ll find people willing to offer advice and information all over the place.

“Knowledge Is the Fountain From Which Creativity Springs”-Jay Conrad Levinson

Knowledge gives you power. With it, you get power to compete with other small businesses like your tax practice (and the big franchises too). By promoting your strengths and exploiting their weaknesses, your practice grows and generates the income and lifestyle you and your family deserve.

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