If your business is on fire, do you really want to be told how nice your yard looks?

Whether your business is growing quickly or trending in the wrong direction it is always a good exercise to seek out objective business reviews from skilled business consultants like ours. Such reviews done by unbiased minds- not restricted to the collective view & warped by internal (team-rallying) spin- will almost always yield fresh observations to help you grow your business.

Company insiders are less capable of sharing fully objective views- especially when they may conflict with how the company image is positioned or how company leadership subjectively portrays the business. Either often & easily leads to "focus on the positives" mandates... to a fault. If your house is on fire, do you really want your staff reassuring you about how nice your yard looks? Corporate politics, emotions like fear, motivational rah-rah and so on all conspire to drive such growth-limiting, cost-saving or efficiency-gaining actions. Insiders may be reluctant to risk pointing out weaknesses (fires) or opportunities (for growth) which caps your potential... exactly the opposite of what you need from accessible talent & expertise.

That's why your business would be well served to utilize objective outsiders like BI who have no insider baggage or bias, who are not influenced by politics, nor even know how the company spins itself to its employees. If your house has some fires popping up we'll see right past your beautiful landscaping. More importantly, we'll point out those fires so something can be done about them... NOW. We'll even recommend how best to put those fires out. Similarly, if there are untapped growth opportunities (and there are always untapped opportunities), we'll bring them to the top so you can give them real consideration… today… when you need them.

Example: Competitor Analysis Can Fuel Your Business Growth

There are many well-proven facets to doing this kind of project well. We reveal all in an engagement. As a sample to help you recognize the value of this kind of service, we'll share a little detail in just one of them- quality competition research- and how it can help you rapidly grow your business...

One of the best ways to quickly gain some strategic and tactical advantages in the marketplace is to thoroughly analyze your competitors and absorb their better ideas & tactics into your own arsenal. This is often most valuable to a business that has not done formal & OBJECTIVE competitive analysis for some time. Why? Because there is usually an abundance of lucrative ideas to be identified and implemented. One of the most basic tenets of marketing is "know thy competition." Quality competitive analysis is a building block for gaining & maintaining a competitive edge.

One of the most valuable outputs of our collective brilliance marketing research model is a summary of key competitor advantages. Unlike ideas or observations sourced to internal guts or intuition, these concepts are all in play at competitors more like you than not, competing within your industry and in your space. Because those competitors own some share of your target market(s), they must be doing something better than you. Embracing some of their advantages is key to helping you take more of that share from them. By determining which of those tactics contribute something to their success (something we do for you) and then adding them to your own offerings, you should be able nullify their advantage and thus bite into a share of the market that flows to them. This is the ultimate reward of good competitive analysis: increased sales from low-risk changes (already completely proven to work by your competitors).

Due to corporate ego, crisis cultures, lack of sufficient strategic planning, etc, many companies don't maintain a diligent focus on competitive analysis. They tend to discover their competitor's next big thing long after it has proven successful for that competitor. Usually, it is revealed when a frustrated company is exploring the causes of wrong-way trends... as a reactive explanation in answer to questions about why the competitor seems to be taking business that was typically bread & butter customers. Discovering their new, effective tactic months or years after your competition has implemented it is the most painful way to conduct competitive analysis. It's like identifying a fire long after it has thoroughly damaged your home.

Our objectivity means you get the warnings, alerts & strategic growth opportunity identifications ASAP- when you need them.The purpose of this facet of an objective business review is to proactively absorb the positive differentiating advantages/ideas/concepts/tactics/etc. being employed by your competitors as early as possible- a metaphorical smoke detector- so that you can resolve a potentially expensive scenario long before it has a chance to do much damage and/or bite into a share of the market that usually flows to your competition.

Grow to Record Levels by Checking the Corporate Ego

The typical first reaction to competitive analysis findings is to summarily dismiss most- or even all- of them. Because they are different (or because "we did not think of them ourselves") can sometimes make the company deem all of them bad ideas. We always encourage clients to check their corporate egos by not summarily dismissing all differing concepts. Instead, recognize that most of them cannot be bad ideas if competitors are using them as part of their efforts to earn a larger slice of the same pie. Successful competitors deserve your respect: if all of their differing tactics are losers why are they still in business?

Another classic excuse typically involves a sentence like "we tried that before and it didn't work." The key is recognizing that whatever idea is being rejected here appears to be working at the competitor company(s). Rather than being too quick to dismiss it, perhaps it simply needs to be tried (again) in a different way than previously attempted? In this situation, BI maps out exactly how it is implemented at the other company as completely as possible so that you can better understand their method of implementation. This can help you adopt a proven tactic for yourself in a way that your competition has already fleshed out and refined. Maybe your prior crack at something similar was just lacking in some way? Often meaningful progress at anything takes more than a single try at it.

Accepting any differing ideas means your company will need to change. Sometimes the fear of change motivates some to pass false judgment to avoid change. When there are many ideas- as is often the case when a company hasn't conducted objective competitive analysis for a good period of time- the fear of change can motivate even more along this line of thinking. As a leader, you will need to focus your team on the bigger picture (usually growth) which almost universally requires change. And we can help you introduce a number of potential changes in a more palatable sequence rather than all at once.

The only time an analysis of the competition has nothing to offer is when the competitor is out of business. As long as a competitor can earn the business of clients that could have done business with you, they must be doing something better than you or something different than you to win that business. Either way, competitive analysis is fundamentally about uncovering their advantages and then mitigating them in the marketplace.

We believe utilizing this analysis is the next best thing to actually tapping the cumulative brilliance of the minds at work for your competitors. Like your own staff, they have very bright, experienced people working hard for them too... and those knowledgeable brains almost certainly have devised, tested and implemented ideas that have proven effective in capturing valuable share of your target market(s). Pairing the best of those tactics with your own unique advantages is leveraging the brilliance of your competitor's talented people to help your own business grow. And you don't even have to pay them for their (sometimes big) contributions!

Other Well-Proven Facets of Quality Business Reviews & Analysis

Competitive analysis is just one facet of this kind of project. Another is customer & prospect analysis- going directly to the source of your revenues to gain insights into how to win more business from them. Still others include reviews of all customer touch points: an end-to-end look at your sales model, product quality, lead sourcing, etc. The cumulative effect is uncovering as many impact observations as possible to help grow your business. BI provides specific observations AND actionable recommendations on how to best address them. You get an itemized list of problems & potential problems with proactive ways to resolve them along with a list of opportunities and how you can best take advantage of them.

Wanting to sell your company soon? An objective review can take the form of looking at it from a buyers perspective... a kind of practice run. Charge BI with the role of faux-buyer to gain insights into where real prospects will focus attention to help establish the price or price range they're willing to pay. This dry run can help you adapt and better prepare for entering into a genuine selling scenario. Knowing where buyers will focus their attention gives you the opportunity to evolve those areas so you can wow the real buyers to come. It's a smart way to increase your multiple.

Wanting to buy a company? Buying a company is a great way to rapidly grow your sales. You might buy to eliminate a competitor, gain share and/or diversify into a new market or business. A start-up minded entrepreneur can reduce their risk by buying an established business and building upon it rather than having to assemble everything from scratch. You absolutely need objective and very thorough business review services when considering such an acquisition. Our expertise could help you do it right.

Again, it is a rare corporate environment that facilities an objective review by internal staff that can be on par with what can be offered by external resources like BI. Mitigating bias, spin, emotions, etc, is key to doing this kind of project to its fullest, which is why tapping outside expertise tends to yield the most objective views. We would love to help you see your company and opportunities with newfound clarity. Contact us for a free consultation.

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