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The Importance of Market Knowledge
  • 03 November 2016
  • Eric Michaels

The Importance of Market Knowledge

When you are establishing a new company, you can face a variety of different struggles. After finding great clients or customers, you need to work to keep them. And once you have a loyal following, you must expand your base. If you have one part of the market cornered, you have to try to grab another piece. In order to maintain an advantage in your industry, you must ensure that your market knowledge is up-to-date.

Sizing up the market

There are a variety of platforms through which you can keep up with the trends in your market. Small business owners who want to stay informed can read trade journals, stay abreast of national news affecting their industry, and network with others in their field. While it may seem strange to socialize with business owners who represent your competition, a cordial relationship can go a long way in the future. After all, a partnership or available stake in a rival company could transform your finances.

In fact, you have every reason to follow the movements of your competition closely. Once you know and understand what they offer, you may find ideas that you can execute better in your own business. You will also be able to see what they are doing that does not resonate with your shared consumer base. It is worthwhile for entrepreneurs in every industry to keep up with their competitors' social media accounts.

Differentiating your business

If you do not use market knowledge to influence your daily business decisions, there is no point in obtaining this information. Put your findings into practice. Once you know what is and is not working for the competition, decide what your edge is with respect to the sector at hand. Maybe you have a stronger production unit or a quicker distribution network, or perhaps your ideas are more easily executed. Wherever you see the opportunity, you have to act on it before someone else in the industry beats you to it.

Communication with your existing client base is crucial. As your customers look ahead and see what other companies claim is in their pipeline, you have to counter with your own ideas. Clients are not only looking for what they need today; the future is just as important. Knowing where your competition stands allows you to continue to outperform them among key consumers. Let everyone know that you have more great products in the works.

Testing market knowledge annually

How long can you go without giving yourself a pop quiz on the state of the market? It depends on the industry. With 3-D printers allowing companies to produce prototypes and architectural models faster than ever, design industries do not have much time to waste. Checking in at least once a year is mandatory in these types of businesses. The same applies to app developers, software companies, website operators, and companies in other fast-paced industries, where a lot can happen in even six months.

When it comes to market knowledge, you must not forget to regularly poll your customers to find out what they think. From these conversations, you are likely to find out what type of new competition is on the block as well as what other clients are thinking. Instead of fearing what can happen when you press a client on other offers, consider it a calculated risk. After all, you are only as good as your next deal, and you may be able to react to disadvantages before it is too late.

You can never have enough market knowledge, and you should always strive to stay up-to-date with industry news to maintain an advantage. After all, knowledge is power.

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