Study The Competition With Craigslist

It's common knowledge that there is constant and direct competition between businesses that offer similar goods and services. It doesn't matter if the marketing and selling of said goods and services happens offline or online. The people who become really successful in business know they have to constantly study, and learn from, their competition. This article looks at why it's essential to study your competition to achieve success in business. It will also show ways that Craigslist can make this process easier for those marketing online.

Why Study Your Competition?

Studying your competition is among the most vital aspects to any businesses success. Regardless of whether you market goods or services, it's important to be aware of what is currently available in the marketplace. It's important because it ensures that whatever you are offering is comparable to what your competitors offer. After all, a customer probably won't buy (or keep buying) whatever you are offering if your competitors are able to beat you on quality and/or price.

Let's use a new yard care business for an example to show why it's worthwhile to study your competition. Now imagine that this yard care company, within a specific geographical area, starts to offer lawn trimming for a price of $45 for the average size yard plus an added fee of $15 for lawn edging. Perhaps there's a couple of other established yard care businesses in a local area that offer lawn trimming and edging for a combined fee of $40. In this situation, it's likely that the first yard care business in this example will struggle. Any business owner who doesn't constantly evaluate their competition may not understand why their business is not thriving. However, some time spent studying the competition would make it plain that their business may be suffering because the competition offers higher quality, lower prices or better service.

The example above illustrates how new businesses can suffer if they fail to evaluate their competition prior to opening the business. However an established business may also suffer if they choose not to evaluate their competition regularly. Again, the established business could unknowingly be offering inferior goods and services, or charging too much. In this case it's not very likely that they will stay financially viable.

Studying The Competition With Craigslist

Craigslist can be used in different ways by people looking to market their goods and services using the internet. One thing that makes Craigslist a popular marketing option is that the vast majority of ads can be posted for free. Plus, it's possible to efficiently reach large audiences because Craigslist receives billions of page views on a monthly basis. Even though it's natural for any business owner to take advantage of the advertising value at Craigslist, it is necessary to understand that your competitors are likely to be aware of that same value.

At the same time this increases competition it also means you can research your competition more easily. The simplest form of research on Craigslist is to search for terms relevant to what you offer and look at those results. In this way you're likely to find any other business that offers comparable goods and services.

After becoming aware of who your competition is, you'll be able to take the time to evaluate their ads. Key information that can be collected from competitors' ads include: type and quality of what they offer, how much money they charge for them, and what keywords they use in promoting their goods and services. If possible, you may want to hire an SEO (search engine optimization) consultant to get everything you can from your keyword or even steal theirs ;).

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