So you’ve decided to take the step to launch your own business? It is highly important at this beginning phase to put together a marketing plan.  It is then wise to continue gathering competitive intelligence as your business grows, in order to stay in the race.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself as you go about developing your marketing plan:

  1. How do I know what marketing materials I should use?
  2. What should I charge for my products and services?

Before you don your spy gear and begin sleuthing around your competitors’ websites, I recommend starting your case at Habiliss where our VAs who are experienced at gathering competitive intelligence can do the leg-work for you. It saves you a lot of time and puts your case in the hands of professionals who know what to look for since they have been taking on these cases for a while now. Consider the Virtual Assistant who will be assigned to you, the Watson to your Holmes, teaming up with you to create an on target-marketing program tailored to your services and products in order to position yourself against the competition.

Gathering the Clues:

The first 5 steps to a successful competitive analysis a Virtual Assistant performs are:

  • Collecting all marketing materials used by your competitors. What key benefits do their marketing materials communicate?
  • Clipping your competitors’ ads.
  • Requesting copies of competitor’s brochures and other marketing materials so they can find out what special products, services or deals your competitors use to get responses to their ads and brochures.
  • “Mystery shopping” your competitor’s website and ordering process as well as customer service strategies. Do they sell their products online or just offer information?
  • Using search engines they will hunt for articles and press releases about your competitors finding out how your competitors use the internet to entice customers and sell their products? This will provide you the intelligence you need to have in order to know what information to include on your own website.

Case Solved –

Once your VA thoroughly gathers all the clues there are to be gathered, he or she will organize all that information, and present you with a clearly written report. It is then up to you to draw your conclusions about the types of competitive offers and pricing you will use. From the information garnered by your Virtual Assistant you will have clear guidelines for developing your own marketing tools.