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There’s usually a supposed “bad energy” anytime competition is mentioned. Many self-help books have pointed out the need for no competitive spirit with anybody because we’re individually good. Great! I live with that mindset too. However, one should note that this ideology can only stay with personal development and not be employed in business settings.
Business is a money-making avenue that depends on many economic evaluations governed by unchanging principles. These principles include: people love incentives, society and people face trade-offs, opportunity cost exists and depend on factors other than individual desires, etc. These and many other principles make the business atmosphere very competitive, and required sets of distinctly classified studies call competitive intelligence from every business actor.
Competitive intelligence, also known as CI, is a company’s ability to collect data on their competitors and analyse them to strengthen their competitive advantage. It is the action of defining, gathering, analysing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors, and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in strategic decision making for an organisation.
Fact Check: According to data from Crayon’s 2019 Competitive Intelligence Report, it is estimated that companies battle over 25 competitors at a time. 87% said that they’ve become more competitive in the past couple of years alone. According to the same report, companies (Big, Medium, and Small) largely agree that competitive insights are critical in any business’s success.
Given the above trend, there’s a laid obligation on businesses to conduct Competitive Intelligence studies and not only that but also to do it beneficially since it can indeed be dangerous, if not healthily and wisely approached.
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There are numerous reasons why any business will want to conduct a competitive intelligence study. It could be to search for opportunities, learn from other competitor mistakes, or better satisfy clients. Whatsoever this may be, the following tips are essential things to do both before and after the studies to make it beneficial:
Healthily Define your Motives for Your Competitive Intelligence Studies
Before the rush for any research, know what drives you for it and define it. It’s crucial to note that it’s easy to develop a goal through a motive. So, if your motive is right at the start, your goals will be in line with your overall business visions.
Prioritise Your Motive
During a competitive intelligence study, there’s a tendency to see many new lanes with greener pastures and get distracted from your initial motives. Never forget that distractions will end up making your studies become not beneficial. This is not to discourage the ideology of being open to new things. Instead, it is to put you and your prevailing business problems in line with your studies and not become overwhelmed and forget what’s eating you up; be focused!
Prioritise your Prevailing Business Problems
You can’t be suffering from a headache, then take stomachache drugs. If your prevailing business problem is your products, don’t emphasise competitive intelligence study results about your competitor’s employees treatment.
As said earlier, there’s a tendency to see a mistake your competitors had made; why taking the competitive intelligence studies if not learn to avoid these mistakes? It’s beneficial to learn from any noted mistake, even if you don’t feel like it. Learn from your mistakes by checking what they are doing better than you did before, then decide to get back on track.
Choose to Become Better
The waste of any study lies within not practising the good knowledge acquired. It’s healthy and ethical to choose to become better than your competitors after any of your competitive intelligence studies.