How to Grow your Business: Part One
Following the market and researching your competition can be pure gold
Whatever business you are in, attracting new customers – and keeping ahead of the competition – can be a constant battle.
To win this battle, you need to stay on top of the latest industry developments, new technology and trends, and how the market is moving – and all of this on a daily basis.
For example, if you are involved in an industry dependent – even partially – on the ebb and flow of Australian or world, financial markets, a more than passing interest in the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and world markets is good insurance against being caught out by sudden market drops or changes. Another good way to keep one step ahead of disaster is to simply monitor the money sections of the various popular news websites, such as news.com.au, smh.com.au, thewest.com.au, guardian.com.au and the age.com.au Similarly, if your business is directly or indirectly involved in the mining industry, it pays to subscribe to the relevant Government and industry websites (such as the Department of Mines and Petroleum, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto), as well as the mining sections of the above news media sites.
Joining daily email alerts from these various news sections can prove ‘pure gold’ when it comes to keeping ahead of the pack in your industry.
Another way is to research your competition. Obviously they provide the biggest threat when it comes to your business profitability. A Google search under your area of specialty will usually reveal some of your most successful competitors. For example, in the relatively niche area of freelance corporate writing and editing – of which Mike Peeters Media is a member – the most prolific posters on the Internet will usually maintain their presence at or near the top of a Google search. This does not necessarily mean they are the best in their industry – just the best at marketing and promoting themselves online. Often to be successful, such a company has put in significant effort developing its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which, as any regular online user knows, can work wonders at producing significant Google hits.
However, maintaining such a valuable position on the first few pages of a Google search can be dependent on many factors, not just SEO – for example, extensive use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Other factors include business blogging and the company’s general Internet presence which can include newsletters, media releases, annual reports and assorted online publications.
Therefore, any company looking to maintain or improve its online presence, must focus on producing an extensive range of original online material or Google will soon tire of them, and find other, more prodigious, companies to list.
This is the first in an irregular series of blogs produced by Mike Peeters – CEO of Mike Peeters Media