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How to Develop Competitive Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

How to Develop Competitive Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs do not become successful by resting on their laurels. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance to get any business up and running smoothly. Setting a business up also does not end when you get it off the ground. It is a continuous process that you have to work on, so you can be assured of maintaining or keeping your competitive edge.

To be able to sustain this edge, one must develop competitive intelligence. What exactly is competitive intelligence? What exactly does it do? According to Entrepreneur.com, competitive intelligence is “the process of gathering actionable information on your business’s competitive environment.” In other words – it is the process of knowing what your competitors are doing, and making sure you find a way to respond to it to your advantage.

It may appear easy to get a scan of the competitive environment of your business, but it takes more than just a cursory glance. You need quality data so you can react accordingly and properly. So how do you do it? Here are some tips and tricks.

Identify What You Need to Know

What type of data are you looking for? Yes, you are looking for data on your competitors, but what exactly about them are you looking for? Find out what their unique selling proposition is. How do they market it? What is the logistics behind the business? What are their price points? Who are they targeting? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

You should also consider what type of competitors you are studying. Do you focus on direct competitors? You may want to also consider threats to your business that aren’t directly related to your brand.

Aside from your competitors and the threats, you also have to learn about your business environment. Everything in this world constantly shifts and changes and you need to be able to keep up with these. So it is best, that you have your eye on business trends, best practices and find out how you can apply these to your business. Are these opportunities for growth? Are these ways in to expand your reach? There are so many ways you can capitalize on data about your business environment. Make sure you have a good use for them.

Find Good Sources

You can’t just believe the first thing you see about your competitors. Sure, it can be very easy to do a quick search online about your competitors, but you have to make sure that you also get quality data. Make sure your sources are reputable. You cannot make decisions on information that is unreliable. You will most likely need to invest on websites that gather competitive intelligence, but these are good investments. Arming yourself with this information will give you the tools to fight against competitors encroaching on your market share. Defend your turf, always be vigilant and always be prepared to address any threats that come your way. These, you can do, by being informed about your competitors.

Spy on Your Competitors

To go beyond the usual public data that your competitors release to the media or to the general public, you need to get inside your competitor’s business to know for real what is happening. This doesn’t mean that you gather information in an unethical manner. All you need to do is get into your competitor’s business and observe how they do things. How do they treat their customers? How do they handle conflicts? Find a way to “spy” into their businesses. You will learn a lot in the day-to-day comings and goings.

Consolidate Data and Analyze

Now that you have all this data about your competitor and the threats around your business – what do you do with it? This is where the vital part comes in. You need to consolidate all of this data and do a deep analysis on your findings. How does it affect your business? Are their processes more cost-efficient than yours? Is there a way to counter their efforts to be more aggressive in the industry? The secret to developing competitive intelligence is knowing what to do with all the data you have gathered. Learn how to turn the findings into an advantage for your business. You have the power and the control to anticipate any setbacks from your competitors because you already have an idea on what they are doing. You can then set-up defense strategies in place. Or better yet, pre-empt their planned efforts and come out on top. Make use of the data you’ve gathered. They hold the key to being one step ahead of your competitors.

Do Not Get Distracted

Amidst all these efforts to gather data – you might lose sight of your objectives and goals. Don’t. Learn how to juggle several things simultaneously. Learn how to multi-task. Do not be overwhelmed by all of the tasks that you need to accomplish. Do not be distracted by all your efforts to learn about your competitors. You still have to focus on your business – making sure that you provide high-quality service or products, ensuring that your employees are well cared for and properly compensated, ensuring that your business continues to run smoothly at peak performance.
To better help you with this, learn to delegate. Assign specific tasks to individuals to ensure that things get done. Do not allow yourself to get stressed out or panicked. If you organize your thoughts – you will be able to accomplish a lot.

Lori Wade is a tutor and a freelance/content writer for ThrivingWriter.com who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She has a degree in Journalism and is a frequent contributor to several publications and websites. You can connect with her on Twitter, Google+, and other social media platforms.

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Success Advice

How To Achieve Success?

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How To Achieve Success?

How To Achieve Success?

Success can be defined in many ways; it can be happiness for one person and wealth for another. It can be peace for one and respect for another. Everyone can define success in their own way, but in general, it is a feeling of satisfaction and happiness. 

Throughout life, we have a hunger to achieve greatness. The more we achieve the better life becomes. There are plenty of opportunities in this world. If you have a dream to succeed and achieve something special in this life, you need to put in the work, because without action, nothing is possible. The majority of people only dream to succeed, while a small minority work hard to achieve their dreams. To attain success, you need to sacrifice many things, this is how the successful people in this world achieved their greatness.

We need to understand how to achieve success. To do this, we need to break down what success means. The best way to do this is by understanding and analyzing successful people. Successful people in this world emulated and followed the footsteps of other successful people. For example, there is a pattern with successful people. Many successful people wake up early. They spend their time wisely throughout the day, reading and gaining knowledge. This is key to success, while keeping a good balance in life is also vital in achieving success. 

Quotes On Success

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” Steve Jobs

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn

5 Great Pointers On Achieving Success 

Follow Your Passion

Success does not come overnight, it takes a lot of hard work and passion to reach the desired goal and dream. It requires strong dedication, hard work, constant improvement, and sometimes luck. If you are not doing what you love, then you are bound to give up and fail. Only those who have a great passion for something they love, will continue, and strive hard to move on and achieve greatness. It should be something you are willing to sacrifice and dedicate your life to. Every day, every week, and every hour of the day should be dedicated to achieving your goals and dreams. 

Find The Correct Balance

Life is all about finding the right balance. When you find the right balance, only then will you see success around you and within you. Balance your time, spend time with your family and friends. Allocate time to achieving your goals and targets. Look after your health, exercise, and eat well. Life is all about finding a balance. Do not sacrifice one thing for another. It is important to find the right balance in life.  

Establish A Routine

Routines are vital when you are trying to succeed. We are taught from a young age the importance of keeping a good routine in life because without a routine you will be a mess and it will become harder for you to do well in achieving your goals and targets. For example, people who have a job, working for a company, these companies have strict routines in place. The reason for this is so that the company performs well and becomes more successful. Even in our daily lives, without routine we will be all over the place. It is proven that a person who has no routine in life, is a person who is very lazy, a time waster and someone who has no goals and ambition in life. Therefore, we should strive to have good routines in our life, as this will lead us to have a better life. 

Learn From Your Mistakes

Successful people have failed many times. It is inevitable unless you are an extremely lucky person, where everything works out for you. But, when starting off, the first few steps are the hardest. Many people who have achieved great things have failed on many occasions. There are many obstacles in front of you that blocks you from reaching the next stage of success. For example, there are many entrepreneurs who have failed in many businesses, until that one business that has made them successful. Without failures and mistakes, we as humans will never learn, therefore make as many mistakes as you can, as these mistakes will lead you to gain more experience and knowledge in achieving your goals and dreams. 

Find Support And Resources

Find yourself a mentor, you need someone who can point you in the right direction to achieve greatness. With the correct help and support, you can achieve even better than you would do by yourself. If a mentor is not available, try reaching out to others in your field. Find people who have already achieved what you plan to achieve, and try and get as much information from them as possible so that you can reach that level of success one day. Networking is important to become successful and bigger in what you are trying to accomplish. Reaching out to people will allow you to grow further. It will allow you to find out information that you did not even know you needed. Therefore, speaking out and finding the right support and resources will push you to the next level. 

Summary

To summarize, to achieve success, you must be wise and bold. A person who does not try and is lazy in life will go nowhere. You cannot just dream and expect everything to fall perfectly in front of you. You must work hard to get results. We should analyze those who have achieved greatness, by following in their footsteps. Only then can we crawl, walk, and then achieve our own success. Remember, success does not come overnight, it begins with baby steps, and when you are established, you will see the greatest successes. 

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Success Advice

How I Eat For Free Using Instagram

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How I Eat For Free Using Instagram

To start eating for free, you need to have a popular Instagram account that will grab the attention of the restaurants you plan to reach out to.

Having an account that is well put together and the pictures being posted on Instagram posts being of high quality, and building visual interest is very important.

When reaching out to the restaurants, it’s important that you share how your influence and connection with your followers can benefit the restaurant and the food that they are preparing.

A restaurant in Melbourne said that after it was shared on @eating.melbourne the restaurant gained popularity and it’s income greatly increased following the Instagram post.

Reaching out to restaurants is also ideal for eating for free anywhere you want to go. After getting an invitation to eat at restaurants it is extremely important to reach out after and thank the person or people who made it possible.

This is a way to show the people you are dealing with that they know you are serious and will reach out again in the future because of it. Building a relationship after initially getting an invitation to eat at a place is ideal for making yourself known and making more connections with the people and friends that they work with.

Part of the deal you make with the restaurants is that you’ll post jaw-dropping images or videos of their foods, ones that will grab the attention of followers who can potentially visit their restaurant to get a bite to eat. This is exactly what I do – Sean Kelly of @delicious on Instagram.

I share this content which helps bring exposure of restaurants to my followers and allows me to eat for free on a consistent basis. When I eat at all these different restaurants, neighboring restaurants see the business increase and they want the same.

Not only do I benefit the business that I am helping, but I am also promoting my services – showing other businesses that I can perform in the social media world.

A large part of becoming a successful influencer is being able to prove yourself. If you promise a business that you’ll bring in ‘X’ amount of business from your account, you should live up to it or go over that amount.

Being able to show other client’s proof that you will live up to your business quota or bring in more, in the end that will bring in even more clients for them and gain more people for you to work with.

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Same Game, New Look – Sports Highlights

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Same Game, New Look - Sports Highlights

It’s become a tradition. Sit down, turn the TV on and watch the game. Only the lucky few are able to go see them in person. Sports have been around for centuries, and as time progressed and their popularity increased, fan bases grew exponentially. As the media began to cover sports, few stations soon gained a monopoly. These became the main places to get all your sport news.

Up until recently, the opinions shared about sports were largely those of mainstream reviewers. As the popularity of social media services such as Instagram and YouTube increases, more people are given the opportunity to make their opinions known. One person whose opinion has gained much more traction is Daniel Padron, the face behind @sportshighlights on Instagram.

I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Padron and find out how he has managed to be heard in such a dominated field. “I came up with the idea when Instagram first started allowing videos rather than just pictures. I would see countless highlights every night watching games during the Big 3 era and I believe that inspired me to start posting highlights” Padron explained.

What started off as a fun pastime has now grown into an audience of 1.7 Million, that continues to increase by the thousands daily. “I didn’t know if people would like or care about my opinion when I started, but I always wanted to be an analyst or reporter for ESPN, so I just gave it a shot” he explained.

Padron started with just his friends following him, however as people began liking, commenting, and tagging others on his posts, his page gained popularity. The engagement he received only helped his posts be seen more. Padron was not only pleasantly surprised to see that many people agreed with his opinions; he was also interested in how people disagreed. This line of direct communication from Padron to his audience separated him from analysts on TV.

Although people can still give their opinions to mainstream reporters, @sportshighlights works to make it a more immersive experience. For instance, if Daniel sees that many people are interested in a particular team or player, he is able to make an effort to post more about it.

Although the experience is slightly more tailored, all teams are reported. One of the best qualities about @sportshighlights is that it had created a medium through which fans from all over the world can exchange opinions and discuss games. With a quick read through the comments, a person is able to see the same highlight through multiple points of views. This feature alone is what draws many audience members in.

Despite the fact that the same mainstream reporters and analysts are featured on TV, @sportshighlights has given sports fans a whole new experience. With the newfound ability to comment and discuss plays with anyone, Sports Highlights has successfully brought fans together and given the same game a fresh new look.

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