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Why Business Owners Should Be Doing Competitive Research
Episode 5815th March 2022 • The Business Animal • Kimberly Beer & Cara Taylor Swift
00:00:00 00:31:22

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Competitive research is a type of research that small businesses should be doing to monitor and analyze what your competition is doing. For animal, equine and pet based businesses it can be a way to better understand why your customers choose you over the neighboring business right down the road OR why they choose your competitor over you. Join Kim and Cara as they share the reasons you should be doing competitive research for your animal, equine, or pet-based business and the types of information you should be looking for.

Transcripts

Kimberly Beer:

The Business Animal podcast is proudly

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hosting, and Keap the premier CRM software for small business,

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best deals on these two amazing products.

Jaz:

Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. Saddle up for a

Jaz:

gallop to the top of the animal industry. Where you'll learn how

Jaz:

to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques,

Jaz:

and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school,

Jaz:

and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts,

Jaz:

Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift

Kimberly Beer:

Hey there business animals, it's Kim with

Kimberly Beer:

Be More Business

Cara Taylor Swift:

and Cara with Fast Horse photography.

Kimberly Beer:

And welcome to The Business Animal podcast. So

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today our topic is one that should be of interest to to

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every business out there, and especially animal based

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businesses, because we have such a tight knit community around

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our animals that we often run in to many opportunities as

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consumers to fulfill our needs for products and services in

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association with our animals. And today's topic is about

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competitive research. It's about you as the small business owner

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as the animal based business owner, being able to recognize

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where you fit in to your consumers overall situation

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around whatever they're trying to solve, whether it's buying

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food for their animal, getting a service for their animal, or

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getting training or education or photography, I don't care where

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you rank in that being able to know what your competition is

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doing. And being able to see where you fit into that bigger

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picture, especially in context to where your consumers are

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coming from both your similarities and your

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differences are really key in being able to understand how you

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fit into the market and being able to do your sales Cara, how

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do you define competitive research?

Cara Taylor Swift:

Well simply put, I think of competitive

Cara Taylor Swift:

research as a type of research that monitors and analyzes what

Kimberly Beer:

That is exactly right. And you have a wonderful

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your competitors are doing. So for animal equine and pet based

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businesses, it can be a way for us to better understand, first

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list here of reasons why people should be doing competitive

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of all, why our customers chose to work with us or buy from us,

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but also why they chose a competitor over us. So if

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they're out there choosing competitors, why are they doing

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that? And competitive research is a way for us to figure that

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research from an article that you found. And I think this is a

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out.

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great opportunity to present that to people so they know why

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they need to hang around and listen to our big three which

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are steps to get you to the place you need to be with

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competitive research.

Cara Taylor Swift:

Absolutely. I found this great article by Elsa

Cara Taylor Swift:

Berry on LinkedIn actually, of all places. But there are lots

Cara Taylor Swift:

of reasons that you should be doing competitive research, here

Cara Taylor Swift:

are a few of them. First of all, you can really get a better

Cara Taylor Swift:

understanding of your market like what's happening current,

Cara Taylor Swift:

what is current, what's happening out there, you can

Cara Taylor Swift:

also find gaps or opportunities in your market. You know, we

Cara Taylor Swift:

always talk about looking for those places where we can feel

Cara Taylor Swift:

the pain point and are there things out there that are

Cara Taylor Swift:

happening that people are looking for, but they can't find

Cara Taylor Swift:

access to it, this might be a great place for you and your

Cara Taylor Swift:

business to jump in and kind of save the day. You can also

Cara Taylor Swift:

identify your personal your own businesses strengths and

Cara Taylor Swift:

weaknesses. When you compare them to your competitors, you

Cara Taylor Swift:

can identify new and emerging trends in your market to help

Cara Taylor Swift:

you stay current. Sometimes, by doing competitive research, you

Cara Taylor Swift:

can be tipped off. So, to trends that are starting to happen,

Cara Taylor Swift:

things that people are interested in that maybe they

Cara Taylor Swift:

weren't interested in before and get in at an earlier stage, I

Cara Taylor Swift:

have found that competitive research can help inspire new

Cara Taylor Swift:

ideas for me and for my business. You can also spend

Cara Taylor Swift:

some time learning your competitor strategies, which

Cara Taylor Swift:

ones are working and which ones aren't working. This can be huge

Cara Taylor Swift:

in terms of saving you costs down the line, if you see a

Cara Taylor Swift:

competitor trying something that you have been thinking about

Cara Taylor Swift:

trying in your business, but it doesn't seem to be working for

Cara Taylor Swift:

them. But they're having a lot of hiccups. This could really

Cara Taylor Swift:

save you a lot of time and trouble down the line either by

Cara Taylor Swift:

troubleshooting in a different way or skipping the option

Cara Taylor Swift:

altogether. And finally, competitive research, which

Cara Taylor Swift:

we're going to talk about a little bit below is just a great

Cara Taylor Swift:

way to set you apart from your competitors. And we'll dig into

Cara Taylor Swift:

that a little deeper as we start working through the big three.

Kimberly Beer:

Absolutely. So our big three for this episode

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are first of all identify the standard for your industry. You

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have to know what is out there for people and how your business

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is positioned in that and then number two is to get super clear

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on what are your competitive differentiators what you offer

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that they don't offer, what they offer that you don't offer. And

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then finally, just to remember that competitive research is

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ongoing and make some plans to make sure that you stay on focus

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in keeping your competitive research up as you go along. So

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the first of the big three is to identify the standard for your

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industry. Now, I know that you would like to dearly believe

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that your customers that you currently have are incredibly

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loyal, and that they would ever even interact with another

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business that provides the same service or product that you do.

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But the truth is, those other businesses that do what you do,

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or do something similar to what you do, they're doing their

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marketing too. They're doing their outreach, they're getting

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in front of people, and there's always the open door for them to

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have a conversation with your customers. Now, if the customer

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is always pleased with your service, and your prices aren't

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dramatically different, you know, there's not a lot of

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motivation for them to change. But here's the thing, if you

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don't know what is out there, it's really, really difficult to

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know what the opportunities for losing customers that might

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exist, that you're not aware of. So there's a guy in score that I

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teach with his name is Ed, and he is he's an awesome

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businessman. And he definitely has a heart for helping small

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businesses really be successful. And his part of the score

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marketing program that I teach in, he talks a lot about this

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competitive research part and understanding the industry

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standards. And he tells a little story based on cable TV, right?

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So when the cable TV salesman person comes to your door, let's

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just pretend that happens in this day and age. So the cable

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TV salesman approaches you basically, and says we have 72

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channels that are available. Well, if you've only been

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watching 10 channels as the consumer 72 Sounds awesome. So

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you think I will sign up with you. But if you don't do it

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right then or if you do it and there's an out, and then the

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next cable TV person comes along and says, Hey, I have 225

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channels. Well, now on the first guys offer sure doesn't sound as

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good as the second one. But maybe the first company has some

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benefits that aren't really obvious. Maybe their services

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more reliable, there's there's a lot of other things in there. So

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basically, what the moral of the story is, is that there is a lot

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of choice out there for consumers. And you have to be

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super aware as a business owner of what those choices are, and

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how your business fits into it. Because your consumers, like it

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or not, are getting approached by these other businesses, they

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inadvertently even learn about the opportunities that are out

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there that your competition has. So you need to figure this out,

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so that you know what you're doing and where you rank and how

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to combat or how to position yourself and maybe be a better

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word in your differentiators. So you've got to identify that

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standard. What are the standard options? And Cara, you have some

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amazingly good suggestions around that. So I'm gonna let

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you roll through those.

Cara Taylor Swift:

Absolutely. The first three things you need

Cara Taylor Swift:

to think about when you're trying to identify the standard

Cara Taylor Swift:

in your industry is first of all who your competitors are. That's

Cara Taylor Swift:

that's where you're starting this whole thing. So you need to

Cara Taylor Swift:

look at three things. First of all, who do they consider their

Cara Taylor Swift:

target market? Because I'm an equine photographer, and I have

Cara Taylor Swift:

other equine photographers in my community, but my target is very

Cara Taylor Swift:

specific. And there might be a lot of other equine

Cara Taylor Swift:

photographers, but their targets may be completely different than

Cara Taylor Swift:

mine, they may be choosing to do a different type of photography

Cara Taylor Swift:

within that that market. So who do they consider their target

Cara Taylor Swift:

market to be? And then secondly, what makes them or their

Cara Taylor Swift:

services and their products unique? What is different? What

Cara Taylor Swift:

What are they doing that's different? What is their unique

Cara Taylor Swift:

thing that they bring to the market? And third, you want to

Cara Taylor Swift:

look at their price points, what do they look like? How are they

Cara Taylor Swift:

put together? What type of you know are they charging sales

Cara Taylor Swift:

tax? Do they have some kind of convenience fee? What are they

Cara Taylor Swift:

what are their shipping options look like? These are all

Cara Taylor Swift:

elements this is that are a great place to start. Once you

Cara Taylor Swift:

pull that information together then I like to think about it in

Cara Taylor Swift:

terms of you know, do you have different type of competitors

Cara Taylor Swift:

that fall into different categories? Are you in direct

Cara Taylor Swift:

competition or indirect competition with these other

Cara Taylor Swift:

businesses for example, in the equine photography world, I am a

Cara Taylor Swift:

full time photographer that specializes in creating you know

Cara Taylor Swift:

wall art for my clients have their own horses I'm full time

Cara Taylor Swift:

I'm professional, but I might be up against and competing with

Cara Taylor Swift:

part time photographers that have a full time job doing

Cara Taylor Swift:

something else. So there may be weekend photographers, the

Cara Taylor Swift:

hobbyist, enthusiastic hobbyists might be somewhere in this list

Cara Taylor Swift:

thinking about things like are they you know, in your industry?

Cara Taylor Swift:

Are there accreditations licenses, you know, are they

Cara Taylor Swift:

insured? These are all things to me that fit into industry

Cara Taylor Swift:

standard and can be later turned into your competitive

Cara Taylor Swift:

diffierintegrators. I'm gonna say that word 500 times, Kim,

Cara Taylor Swift:

I'm gonna say it wrong every single time. So just warning you

Cara Taylor Swift:

now

Kimberly Beer:

No worries. We all know what you mean.

Cara Taylor Swift:

So it's a tough one. Some other things

Cara Taylor Swift:

that you can look for what do their systems and procedures

Cara Taylor Swift:

look like in comparison to yours? You know, what is the

Cara Taylor Swift:

onboarding look like? How do you get them in your front door?

Cara Taylor Swift:

What is the process that they go through? When they're working

Cara Taylor Swift:

with you, or purchasing from you? How do your systems look

Cara Taylor Swift:

different? Of course, look at your pricing structures, I

Cara Taylor Swift:

mentioned that above. How are their prices put together? How

Cara Taylor Swift:

do they compare to yours? You know, and that's going to be

Cara Taylor Swift:

something that, you know, when you've got consumers out there

Cara Taylor Swift:

looking, one of the things they look for is pricing. So being

Cara Taylor Swift:

able to talk about that in terms of your differentiators. Here we

Cara Taylor Swift:

go again, it's gonna be big. I also like to look at things

Cara Taylor Swift:

like, you know, what kind of content are they putting out to

Cara Taylor Swift:

the world? And what does that look like? For example, what is

Cara Taylor Swift:

their website, say? What kind of imagery? Are they using? You

Cara Taylor Swift:

know, is it professional imagery? Is it unprofessional

Cara Taylor Swift:

looking imagery? Does their website look really good? Do

Cara Taylor Swift:

they have a blog? If they do, what are they talking about? Do

Cara Taylor Swift:

they seem to have a content strategy? What does that look

Cara Taylor Swift:

like? And then in terms of their social media strategy, if they

Cara Taylor Swift:

have one? Are they getting engagement on their social

Cara Taylor Swift:

media? And not only? Are they getting engagement? How are they

Cara Taylor Swift:

responding to things like social media posts and comments, you

Cara Taylor Swift:

know, and then are they responding to them? How are they

Cara Taylor Swift:

responding to them? Is it professional, you know, what is

Cara Taylor Swift:

their personality that's being represented in that brand? And

Cara Taylor Swift:

then looking for other forms of advertising? Are they running

Cara Taylor Swift:

ads on Google? Are they in your local newspaper or magazine? You

Cara Taylor Swift:

know, where are these pieces popping up that you're seeing

Cara Taylor Swift:

them, I also suggest looking for things like special promotions

Cara Taylor Swift:

that they might be offering, especially if they're seasonal,

Cara Taylor Swift:

you know, it helps you know, where you're going to be at when

Cara Taylor Swift:

you've got these little promotions happening in your

Cara Taylor Swift:

community, or in your market looking for things like, are

Cara Taylor Swift:

they using email marketing? Where are they popping up on the

Cara Taylor Swift:

search engines? You know, when you type in your industry

Cara Taylor Swift:

information into a Google search? Where are they popping

Cara Taylor Swift:

up in relation to where your business is popping up? And then

Cara Taylor Swift:

I always like to think about, like, what do their point of

Cara Taylor Swift:

sale options look like? And that kind of goes back to the

Cara Taylor Swift:

pricing. But the big thing is, is it easy to buy from them? Or

Cara Taylor Swift:

easy to book with them? You know? Do they have options

Cara Taylor Swift:

available? If you're purchasing a product from them online that

Cara Taylor Swift:

gives options for people? Or is there a multiple step process

Cara Taylor Swift:

that they have to go through? And how does that compare to

Cara Taylor Swift:

yours? You might have a leveled system like I do, where people

Cara Taylor Swift:

can't just click a button and work with me they have to go

Cara Taylor Swift:

through a process. So how does your process compare to those? I

Cara Taylor Swift:

know that was a lot Kim. But these are things that I think

Cara Taylor Swift:

are really important when you start doing competitive

Cara Taylor Swift:

research.

Cara Taylor Swift:

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Kimberly Beer:

Absolutely. And when you look at these things,

Kimberly Beer:

there's a couple of caveats. I want everybody to maybe maybe

Kimberly Beer:

think of these as lenses that you need to put in front of you.

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As you look at these things. The first thing I really want you to

Kimberly Beer:

examine is what do people say about that business behind the

Kimberly Beer:

scenes? Like what is their true success? When people are talking

Kimberly Beer:

about that business, what are they saying? Are they really

Kimberly Beer:

truly as successful as they appear? Do they have a slick

Kimberly Beer:

website and maybe a nice storefront or product packaging,

Kimberly Beer:

but when you really examine things, not that many people are

Kimberly Beer:

purchasing from them. Now, when you do that, if you look at your

Kimberly Beer:

competitors, and you see a super successful one, I don't want you

Kimberly Beer:

to consider that a bad thing. I want you to consider it a good

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thing because you can learn a lot from that competitor about

Kimberly Beer:

what is working in your industry. That's when the list

Kimberly Beer:

that Cara gave you becomes really critical because what you

Kimberly Beer:

can do is look on there and identify where your business is

Kimberly Beer:

maybe not fitting the bill in the same way that business is.

Kimberly Beer:

And it will tell you what you need to step up or what you

Kimberly Beer:

might want to shift and do a little bit differently. Now, I'm

Kimberly Beer:

not advocating that you copy what they do, that's not the

Kimberly Beer:

point here, what you need to do is understand what is the secret

Kimberly Beer:

sauce over there, that is getting people to really dig in

Kimberly Beer:

and purchase with that business and really drive them forward.

Kimberly Beer:

Now, again, you're going to take all of this with a grain of

Kimberly Beer:

salt, because you do want to understand is that business

Kimberly Beer:

really, truly successful underneath the hood, so is

Kimberly Beer:

everything running on the inside the way that it appears to be on

Kimberly Beer:

the outside, and that can also be flipped around, right? So you

Kimberly Beer:

can run into a business that really their website isn't all

Kimberly Beer:

that great, maybe you don't see a lot of marketing from them.

Kimberly Beer:

But you always hear good scuttlebutt throughout the

Kimberly Beer:

industry about them. So also examine those businesses and

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say, you know, what is it that they're doing that means that

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they really maybe don't need some of those other things or

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need to push on them quite as hard as you have been. So what

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again, is the secret sauce in there, as Ed likes to say, you

Kimberly Beer:

know, we all all create our businesses, and we try to do it

Kimberly Beer:

from scratch. And a lot of times, we try to figure out this

Kimberly Beer:

without looking at competition, because we're afraid one that

Kimberly Beer:

we're either going to get ideas that aren't really ours, or and

Kimberly Beer:

copy stuff, or that we're going to do it differently than they

Kimberly Beer:

do. But the truth is that there's enough market space for

Kimberly Beer:

all of us out there for these businesses. And what your

Kimberly Beer:

competition is doing, they've already learned a lot, because

Kimberly Beer:

they've been in business longer than you have in that startup

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phase kind of thing. So if you are in a startup phase, make

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sure you look at your competition and really

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understand them and don't approach it as I'm going to be

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different or kind of as a as an opposition to them. But as a

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learning experience to see what they're doing right. Another

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thing you can do, if you have a business that is local, like it

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has a radius by which it serves, this is harder for people who

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work with people in a large geographic area. But if your

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customer base is in a small geographic area, find a

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competitive business that is not in direct competition for your

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market. In other words, if you live in Chicago, you know, look

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for the same business you have in Los Angeles, and then see if

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you can find some buddies that are in your same industry have

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your same business, and that you can talk to and say here, let's

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form a little coalition so we can understand each other's

Kimberly Beer:

businesses better. And it'll give you all a new perspective

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of the target market that you're trying to reach. Because it's

Kimberly Beer:

like you're looking through a multifaceted glass then right,

Kimberly Beer:

you get all kinds of different opinions about what that

Kimberly Beer:

business is for your target market. And it's the same

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consumer, they just live in different geographic areas. So

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you're really not cross competing with each other. So

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the sharing is a little bit more free and open. And it's a really

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good relationship to have. I see this a lot in our photography

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world, where we all we have competitive businesses. I mean,

Kimberly Beer:

technically, Cara and I are competitive with each other. But

Kimberly Beer:

we're in very different markets. And we're also in very different

Kimberly Beer:

geographic areas. So there's a camaraderie that can happen

Kimberly Beer:

because we can help each other without worrying about the lack

Kimberly Beer:

of customers or somebody taking more than the other. How does

Kimberly Beer:

that all sound to you, Cara?

Cara Taylor Swift:

Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things

Cara Taylor Swift:

that probably one of the best decisions I made is I teamed up

Cara Taylor Swift:

with two other photographers in other parts of the US, but they

Cara Taylor Swift:

have very similar business models to me, where we're

Cara Taylor Swift:

providing a really elevated level of service and providing

Cara Taylor Swift:

high end in product to our, to our clients. And we have weekly

Cara Taylor Swift:

meetings where we cover everything from products that we

Cara Taylor Swift:

are offering to our clients to how we're pricing them to, you

Cara Taylor Swift:

know, way we can add things on the types of editing packages we

Cara Taylor Swift:

can put together. I mean, we go through and our attempt is that

Cara Taylor Swift:

we dedicate each one of our meetings to something where

Cara Taylor Swift:

we're digging in deeper, and we share just everything I mean, we

Cara Taylor Swift:

send them product things that we've created together and help

Cara Taylor Swift:

bounce language off of each other. And it's huge. And it's

Cara Taylor Swift:

it is about learning about your direct competition your market

Cara Taylor Swift:

and what's happening and then in seeing how you stack up and then

Cara Taylor Swift:

you know that next step is what are your competitive

Cara Taylor Swift:

differentiators? God I can't say that word. Differentiators. And

Cara Taylor Swift:

because the that to some way Kim I think can be the secret sauce,

Cara Taylor Swift:

you know, and that can be two different things they can be how

Cara Taylor Swift:

are the products and services that you offer to your community

Cara Taylor Swift:

different from your competitors, but more importantly, how like

Cara Taylor Swift:

you said earlier how Do consumers see you as different

Cara Taylor Swift:

from your competition? I feel like that's something you need

Cara Taylor Swift:

to know too.

Kimberly Beer:

It is it is. And that brings us to our number

Kimberly Beer:

two, which is to get clear on your competitive

Kimberly Beer:

differentiators. I have a feeling you're going to pass

Kimberly Beer:

your inability to pronounce differentiator off on to me so

Kimberly Beer:

like I'm no I'm like super focused on pronouncing it. It's

Kimberly Beer:

crazy. So So yeah, aluminum. So it took me a while to learn how

Kimberly Beer:

to pronounce aluminum. Okay, so when you're looking at your

Kimberly Beer:

competitive differentiators, so, differentiators are both things

Kimberly Beer:

that are their positive differentiators, as in things

Kimberly Beer:

you've added that your competitors don't do. And then

Kimberly Beer:

there's also negative or subtractive differentiators,

Kimberly Beer:

that are things that you don't do that your competitors do. So

Kimberly Beer:

if it's something that is key in the aspect to your consumer,

Kimberly Beer:

like in other words, it's something that they use to make

Kimberly Beer:

a decision purchase decision, and you don't do what your

Kimberly Beer:

competitors are doing. You need to have a really good reason for

Kimberly Beer:

that. And it needs to be very public. As in I realize you're

Kimberly Beer:

basically what you're saying. And in terms that are much more

Kimberly Beer:

eloquent is I see you competitor, I see what you're

Kimberly Beer:

doing there. I know this is what it is. But dear consumer, this

Kimberly Beer:

is the reason why we have chosen in our brand not to do that. And

Kimberly Beer:

competitive differentiators are all about branding. This is all

Kimberly Beer:

about how that conversation differs when people when you're

Kimberly Beer:

not present and your competitor isn't present how the

Kimberly Beer:

conversation goes with the customers when they're talking

Kimberly Beer:

about their options for whatever product or service that you and

Kimberly Beer:

your competitor are offering. And I would like to refer you

Kimberly Beer:

back to our episode where we talked to Meredith about

Kimberly Beer:

branding, because that episode had a lot of really solid gold

Kimberly Beer:

information about branding and about how to set up your brand

Kimberly Beer:

in a really mindful way. And the differentiators are a part of

Kimberly Beer:

that equation. It's understanding that conversation

Kimberly Beer:

that people have when you're not in the room, and making sure

Kimberly Beer:

that what you're putting forward to the public. And also, behind

Kimberly Beer:

the scenes when you're working with customers really follows

Kimberly Beer:

your brand to the point that it's obvious how your brand is

Kimberly Beer:

different from another you have perfect clients for your

Kimberly Beer:

business. Your competitor has perfect clients for their

Kimberly Beer:

business, there are plenty of clients to go around. But the

Kimberly Beer:

key is you've got to be clear enough in your communication,

Kimberly Beer:

and in the way that you do business that the consumer can

Kimberly Beer:

easily identify which person which business that they would

Kimberly Beer:

be the best fit with. And trust me on this. When you find the

Kimberly Beer:

best fit as a consumer, you are much happier when the consumer

Kimberly Beer:

is happier, trust me, dear business owner, you are happier

Kimberly Beer:

too. You don't want an experience where your brand

Kimberly Beer:

wasn't good for the person that was there, it wasn't the best

Kimberly Beer:

fit your competitor would have been a better fit. And then that

Kimberly Beer:

person has a disappointing experience with your business

Kimberly Beer:

goes and hires your competitor and is now incredibly vocal

Kimberly Beer:

about how your business didn't satisfy them. But the

Kimberly Beer:

competitors did that social proof, as we've talked about is

Kimberly Beer:

super powerful with consumers. So just be really aware of

Kimberly Beer:

making sure that what you place out in the world really is your

Kimberly Beer:

competitive differentiator, your brand differentiator from your

Kimberly Beer:

competitors, and Cara has some awesome ways for you to learn

Kimberly Beer:

how to do that.

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Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their

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marketing. After three decades of working with small business

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owners just like you I have developed what I call my four by

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four marketing method. In just one 90 minute session, you'll

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discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing

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plan. And together we'll uncover where your business is getting

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stuck. You'll leave the session with an action plan of next

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steps that engage your revenue engine. Drop by

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bemorebusiness.com to request your session today. That's

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B-E-M-O-R-E business.com. See you there!

Cara Taylor Swift:

Well, I would add to that, that it needs to be

Cara Taylor Swift:

like an actual I don't want to say a legit differentiator but

Cara Taylor Swift:

something that's tangible. That is something that you can see

Cara Taylor Swift:

like I'm not finding the right word tangible is not the right

Cara Taylor Swift:

word. But for I can give you some examples. You know, like

Cara Taylor Swift:

something like one of your differentiator is something

Cara Taylor Swift:

along the lines of well, we work with the best people and you've

Cara Taylor Swift:

got that on your website. Well, okay, sure we all have great

Cara Taylor Swift:

clients, but maybe you've narrowed it down and you can say

Cara Taylor Swift:

something like, you know, we work strictly with horse owners

Cara Taylor Swift:

and understand their unique needs. So that might set you

Cara Taylor Swift:

aside from a business that works with other animal owners or that

Cara Taylor Swift:

works with folks that don't own animals or don't own horses? Or

Cara Taylor Swift:

maybe that works with folks that just board horses. Does that

Cara Taylor Swift:

make sense? Kim, what I'm trying to say like being able to pull

Cara Taylor Swift:

out what is different about you that your competitor can't say

Cara Taylor Swift:

can be a real bonus for your business. Well, another example

Cara Taylor Swift:

I like to use as an equine photographer is that a lot of

Cara Taylor Swift:

photographers might say something like, Well, you know,

Cara Taylor Swift:

I provide high quality framing options. Okay, that's wonderful,

Cara Taylor Swift:

you know, you're a professional photographer, that's excellent,

Cara Taylor Swift:

you have a great company that you work with, I'm sure if

Cara Taylor Swift:

you're someone that offers maybe an exclusive line of frames that

Cara Taylor Swift:

are only available to a select group of professional

Cara Taylor Swift:

photographers, and so maybe in your area, you're the only place

Cara Taylor Swift:

they can get that then being able to say something like, I

Cara Taylor Swift:

offer an exclusive line of frames that are only available,

Cara Taylor Swift:

you know, if you work with me, that can be a positive

Cara Taylor Swift:

differentiator for you.

Kimberly Beer:

Absolutely. And the experience here counts to

Kimberly Beer:

not just the product, or even the actually the service, but

Kimberly Beer:

the experience of working with a particular brand. So I am really

Kimberly Beer:

free flow in working with my clients. I have a very open work

Kimberly Beer:

ethic. But I and I'm not highly let's put it in a spreadsheet,

Kimberly Beer:

as Cara very well knows. Let's put it in a spreadsheet and be

Kimberly Beer:

overly prepared. So my clients like that the good the clients

Kimberly Beer:

that I have the best luck with that we work the best together

Kimberly Beer:

enjoy the free flow, and they actually play off of that. I

Kimberly Beer:

have other clients where it just doesn't jive. And that's no

Kimberly Beer:

problem. They actually belong with a different business

Kimberly Beer:

consultant that has a different approach. It makes a difference

Kimberly Beer:

in the experience that people have in the colors in the

Kimberly Beer:

attitude. I mean, competitive differentiators are across the

Kimberly Beer:

board, it is a very intricate research topic for you to take a

Kimberly Beer:

look at. And what we're trying to do here is to get you to look

Kimberly Beer:

at both the big things and the small things that set you apart

Kimberly Beer:

from your competition. And how can you as the business owner,

Kimberly Beer:

play up the ones that really attract the perfect people into

Kimberly Beer:

your business. And also make sure that people have a really

Kimberly Beer:

clear decision to say, yep, your business is for me or nope, I'm

Kimberly Beer:

going with this other business over here that makes a better

Kimberly Beer:

fit.

Cara Taylor Swift:

And I can't stress enough how important it

Cara Taylor Swift:

is to put your ear to the ground and listen to what consumers are

Cara Taylor Swift:

saying about you. Like what are they saying about you that's

Cara Taylor Swift:

different from your competition, because that might be your

Cara Taylor Swift:

secret sauce, and you just need to figure out how to leverage

Cara Taylor Swift:

it. So I can't I can't stress that enough either.

Kimberly Beer:

I can't either. And that's it is very true. I

Kimberly Beer:

listened to clients tell when it's about the photography, like

Kimberly Beer:

or my commercial photography, I overheard one say to another who

Kimberly Beer:

didn't know I was sitting very near said, Oh, you have to have

Kimberly Beer:

Kim out she has so much fun. You will never laugh so hard in your

Kimberly Beer:

life as when you're doing her photo shoot. And I was thinking,

Kimberly Beer:

well, there was nothing in there about how talented of a

Kimberly Beer:

photographer I am. But the fact that they had a good time and

Kimberly Beer:

the recommendation worked. The person hired me so so there you

Kimberly Beer:

go. So our big three. Number three is that competitive

Kimberly Beer:

research is ongoing, you just it never ever stops. Part of that

Kimberly Beer:

is because we all uplevel each other so it's not just you doing

Kimberly Beer:

competitive research, your competitors are doing research

Kimberly Beer:

on you. This is a reflection, right. So as we all look at each

Kimberly Beer:

other, we all look at our differentiators. We all look at

Kimberly Beer:

what everyone is doing, we cohesive the industry. And

Kimberly Beer:

overall no matter what you're doing, that segment of the

Kimberly Beer:

industry gets lifted up. So you can't stop doing this.

Kimberly Beer:

Innovation in entrepreneurship is one of the driving forces.

Kimberly Beer:

And and I can guarantee you as an entrepreneur, you have

Kimberly Beer:

innovation in your bone somewhere. Because if you're

Kimberly Beer:

having fun as an entrepreneur, that's what it's all about. So

Kimberly Beer:

looking at how your competitors are interacting with their

Kimberly Beer:

customers over time, and also all the new businesses that crop

Kimberly Beer:

up in your area that are offering the same thing there's

Kimberly Beer:

there's always the new kid on the block you got to worry

Kimberly Beer:

about. So it definitely pays you to make this a regular and

Kimberly Beer:

routine part of being a business owner.

Cara Taylor Swift:

Absolutely. This takes us back to some of

Cara Taylor Swift:

the stuff we talked about in the beginning. But you know doing

Cara Taylor Swift:

competitive research is really it will continue to help you

Cara Taylor Swift:

identify gaps in your industry and improve your marketing

Cara Taylor Swift:

programs. It will help you find those gaps that could

Cara Taylor Swift:

potentially be your thing that could help you cash in on your

Cara Taylor Swift:

industry. It's going to be your source sometimes for those new

Cara Taylor Swift:

ideas and it's gonna keep you current. It's gonna keep you

Cara Taylor Swift:

looking for emerging trends in your industry and keep you

Cara Taylor Swift:

current and keep you you know, right there at the forefront of

Cara Taylor Swift:

what's happening in your industry.

Kimberly Beer:

Absolutely. And it's A fun, enjoyable ride along

Kimberly Beer:

the way to learn all of these things and see how we all help

Kimberly Beer:

each other grow and get better and consumers benefit from this

Kimberly Beer:

as well. So yeah, just never stopped the competitive research

Kimberly Beer:

and never stopped listening to The Business Animal podcast

Kimberly Beer:

because we always have good stuff to share.

Cara Taylor Swift:

That's right. And if you're a photographer out

Cara Taylor Swift:

there or enjoy photography, we highly recommend you check out

Cara Taylor Swift:

our new podcast that Kim and I have started with our pal and

Cara Taylor Swift:

fellow photographer Phyllis Burchett of Phyllis Burchett

Cara Taylor Swift:

photo. It's called Cowgirls with cameras we highly recommend. We

Cara Taylor Swift:

just recorded episode number two this morning, so it's going to

Cara Taylor Swift:

be fresh in your feeds very soon. And thank you guys so much

Cara Taylor Swift:

for listening today. Please hop over to social media. Let us

Cara Taylor Swift:

know what you think about this episode. You can find us at The

Cara Taylor Swift:

Business Animal on Facebook and on Instagram and of course

Cara Taylor Swift:

online at thebusinessanimal.com. We'll see you guys again soon.

Jaz:

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business

Jaz:

Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And

Jaz:

if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn

Jaz:

more. Find us at thebusinessanimal.com We'd love

Jaz:

to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well

Jaz:

trained with The Business Animal.

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