Do you spend too much time worrying about how well your competitor is doing, or how well those in complementary industries seem to be doing, whilst you are still struggling along?  Are you focusing so much on competitor analysis that it is becoming detrimental to your own business?

If so, stop right now.

At the initial planning stage of a business is it so important to do some competitor analysis to find out who else is out there offering the same or similar to you, what they do well, what they could improve upon and what they charge etc.

But don’t then spend much of valuable time in the future constantly comparing yourself to them.

As Henry Ford is quoted as saying:

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

And that is what you need to be doing.  Carry on finding ways to constantly improve your business and stop constantly worrying about what everyone else is doing.

If you haven’t got access to your competitors financial reports you will never really have the true picture of how successful, or not, their business is and you could be spending many sleepless night concerning yourself with something that is not a problem for you.

I have seen many a business that on the surface appears to be highly successful and is living in a land of commercial bliss.  When I have then met them in person and seen their financial statements, the truth has been far different.  They are putting on a very good show on the outside but underneath the business is in serious financial trouble and living each day hand to mouth.

Too often, as small business owner using social media, we get hooked up on how many likes and followers we have compared to others.  But is it quantity or quality we are after.  I was talking to a client recently and it was so refreshing to hear them say that whilst they didn’t have as many followers as their competitors, they weren’t concerned as they had a much higher rate of interaction.

By focusing too much on what your competitors are doing, you may find that valuable time is wasted and your focus is taken away that could be spent on making your own offering the best that it can be.  Try avoiding looking at the competition for a while and just focus on what you can offer your ideal customer.  Concern yourself with your own business and let your competitor worry about theirs.

Continue to do what you do well and look for ways to improve areas that are now working quite so well for you.  Focus on the small improvements such as interactions with your target market and new sales.  This will give you the confidence boost you need to keep moving forward with your own business rather than feeling deflated by seeing somewhat misleading figures that your competitors are achieving.

Find your own niche with your own ideal client and do things your way.  There is room for everyone out there so be ready to take advantage of each opportunity that may come your way rather than miss out on them because you have eyes looking in the wrong direction.

Be aware of taking competitor analysis too far.