Creating Your Next Business Move With Competitive Intelligence


Weekly Winning Strategies

Generating new ideas for your next business move can be a daunting task.

Especially when trying to align these ideas with market demands and competitive landscapes.

Worse still, when you base your thinking on guesswork, hunches and wild stabs in the dark.

Competitive intelligence provides a strategic advantage. It does this by offering insights into:

- Your competitors’ actions

- Where the market is headed

- What customers really want

Here’s how to use competitive intelligence to generate actionable ideas and determine your next move.

The Problem With Brainstorming In Isolation

Most people start on their own, staring at a screen and trying to create something unique.

They make lists, mind maps, and whiteboard outlines for days. This may occasionally surface as a good idea.

It often leads to overthinking, frustration, and ideas disconnected from the market’s wants or needs.

In my experience, this approach is not a recipe for success.

Neither is convening a meeting with your peers and telling them to think of a new idea.

Common Advice That Falls Short

You’ve probably heard advice like, “Just follow your passion!” or “You’ll know it when you see it.”

While following your passion is important, there needs to be more complete picture.

Some passions aren’t profitable.

Waiting for a ‘Eureka’ moment is like playing the lottery, hoping to get a deposit for your first home. It’s not a reliable strategy.

Or remember Tony Robins telling us there was no such thing as problems? They were issues.

No, mate, face it. A problem is a problem.

Face it and deal with it.

A Smarter Approach To Competitive Intelligence For Your Next Business Move

The best ideas come from deliberate research, experimentation, and incremental iteration processes.

Here’s a three-step framework for generating profitable business ideas through competitive intelligence:

Step 1: Identify Your Information Needs

Before diving into competitive intelligence, knowing what you need to find out is essential.

This step involves defining the specific questions you need answers to, such as:

- What are the latest industry trends?

- What strategies are competitors using?

- What are the unmet needs of the target market?

- What tech advancements are emerging?

Step 2: Gather Data From Many Sources

Use various sources to collect data.

Take a single source piece with a large pinch of salt. This might include:

Industry Reports: Get insights from market analysis reports and industry publications. Everyone else has this access, though.

Competitor Analysis: Monitor competitors’ websites, social media, press releases, and financial reports.

Again, everyone else can see this, but how many actually read it? (Very few)

Customer Feedback: Gather reviews, comments, and feedback from forums, social media, and surveys.

Trade Shows and Conferences: Attend events to network and learn about the latest industry trends and innovations. Talk to people

Online Tools: SEMrush, Ahrefs, or SimilarWeb analyse competitor traffic, keywords, and marketing strategies.

Talk to people: Talk to industry experts, futurists, and companies with an Octopus in their name. Former competitors’ employees and maybe current employees. Get the stuff others won’t have.

Step 3: Analyse And Interpret The Data

Once you have collected the data, analyse it to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities. Look for:

Trends: What are the emerging trends in your industry? Are there any shifts in consumer behaviour?

Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses: What are your competitors doing well? Where are they falling short? Ask why they are doing well or badly.

Gaps in the Market: Are current solutions not meeting needs? Can you identify any underserved segments?

Innovative Strategies: What innovative strategies are being adopted by leaders in your industry?

What strategies are disruptors partaking in? Not just in your industry, of course. Look at other diverse sectors.

Step 4: Generate Ideas Based On Insights

Use the insights gained from your analysis to brainstorm new business ideas. Here are some strategies to consider:

Differentiate: Based on their weaknesses, create or improve your offering to fill a market gap. Look at their strengths as sometimes they can be weaknesses too.

Emerging Trends: Create offerings to align with emerging market trends and consumer preferences.

Target New Segments: Identify and target underserved or overlooked market segments.

Customer Experience: Use customer feedback to improve customer service, product features, or user experience.

Step 5: Test And Validate Your Ideas

Before fully committing to any new idea, it’s crucial to test and validate it:

Minimum Viable Product: Build a simple version of your product/service to test in the market.

Customer Feedback: Collect feedback from your target audience to refine and improve your offering.

Pilot Programs: Run pilot programs or beta tests to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of your idea.

Step 6: Implement And Monitor

Once validated, implement your idea and monitor its performance.

Use competitive intelligence to keep an eye on market changes and competitor moves.

This will allow you to stay agile and adapt as needed.

Action Plan For Your Next Business Move

Here’s how you can start using competitive intelligence to generate your next business idea:

Define Your Goals: Determine what information you need and why.

Collect Data: Use a mix of sources to gather relevant information.

Analyse Insights: Identify trends, gaps, and opportunities.

Brainstorm Ideas: Generate ideas based on your findings.

Validate Concepts: Test your ideas with a minimum viable product and gather feedback.

Execute: Implement your validated idea and monitor its performance.

Your Next Business Move With Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence offers a structured and strategic approach to idea generation.

It ensures that your business decisions are informed, timely, and aligned with market demands.

Using competitive intelligence, you stay ahead of the curve, innovate, and make confident business moves.



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