I have often been asked this question and my answer is an undeniable “yes”. It is beneficial to follow your competition a variety of reasons. I do it myself all the time.
Why should you follow your competitors?
- It allows you to stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry. Your competitor‘s thoughts may be beneficial to your own business.
- Their ideas will help with your own creative brainstorming sparking new ideas.
- Participation allows you to be a part of the larger conversation. It’s all about becoming an authority in your field.
- It is an opportunity to learn – see what works for your competition and what doesn’t and apply that knowledge to your own business.
The biggest question is whether you should follow them opening or secretly. I prefer an open and honest approach. There is plenty of business to go around and there are benefits to getting to know your competitors and mutually sharing information. The secret approach allows businesses to “steal” ideas and even disgruntled customers. There is no harm in getting great ideas from others and staying informed keeps us at our competitive best.