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Know your competitors

People and businesses compete for the same outcomes in many situations. A group of companies compete for market share and sales. One way to compete more effectively is to research the competition. Examine a competitor's product, its business strategy, its staff and resources. Figure out where a competitor is vulnerable.

"Customers always have a choice. They can either choose to do things the way they have always done them, find alternative solutions, or purchase your product. Identify your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss emerging technologies. Without this information, your business will not be able to effectively respond to your competition." - The Corporate Bee

"No matter how enmeshed a commander becomes in the elaboration of his own thoughts, it is sometimes necessary to take the enemy into account." - Winston Churchill

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "You should be very aware of your first-level competitors— in many cases, you'll know them by name and may even belong to the same business associations they do. If you don't know much about their business operations now, make sure that you do soon! It's to your advantage to know as much as you reasonably can about the details of their businesses."

from The Corporate Bee, 12 Tips for a SUCCESSFUL Business Plan, August 2003, at URL

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