Looking at what the competition is doing can be a huge distraction. The chances of another company having the same vision and services are remote, and typically what you see on the outside on their site and in the press don’t perfectly reflect what is really going on inside. Too often I hear about focusing on what the competition is up too, the latest press release, or other announcement that takes the management team by surprise and sends folks spinning – all away from their core mission of their own company.
Another distraction is the sheer volume of people that send a competitive announcements, links, fundraising posts from competition. This of course is a way of showing some vague support and knowledge that you are tracking the space, when in reality it is probably not helpful.
So what to do when this happens? Here is what I have been sharing with teams for years works well;
- Create a google spreadsheet called “Competitors”
- Header columns can be simple: Competitor, Link, Description
- Cut + Paste the links into this spreadsheet upon receiving the news
Sounds simple right? So why does this work well and how is it helpful?
For starters this gives you some *action* to do when someone sends this news. This gives you a *response* to the investor/friend/family for the email to keep you away from being snarky “Hey thanks – tracking them in our competitor list!” and provides an *answer* to the team when they ask “DID YOU SEE WHAT X IS DOING/RAISED/PARTNERED WITH?”
This both figuratively and literally gets the competition out of your head – you put them in the sheet!
This gives you something to share back when people ask if you heard the news.
This gives you a message to the team, the inevitable Slack discussion, and other 1:1 time people may spend on the issue.
This gives you a way to empower your team to get on the same page as it relates to the competition.
All of this sounds great – but taking it to the absolute next level is Mike Schmidt who is the CEO of DoveTale (I am completely biased investor here so there is my disclosure) who created a tracking sheet and “open sourced it” to the world in his amazing Influencer Marketing Spectrum google sheet.
I know if I send Mike a competitor or announcement (yes, I do this distracting thing too) he will not only put it in this sheet, but also track the relevant metrics and features for each co.
As always, I hope this is helpful and if you have other tips to stay focused let me know.Tags: Competitor Analysis