Competitive Strengths and Weaknesses
A very important aspect of a good market analysis is to determine your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your competitors. This allows you to know your true position.

Some people (especially those who identify as highly spiritual) may have a difficult time with the words competitor and/or competition. In the context of this article it simply means, “Someone who targets the same market as you do.” Or “A company that targets the same market.”

I want you to fully understand the importance of knowing what your market position is in relation to others who have a similar market.

Regarding your strengths and weaknesses, it is imperative that you be completely and totally honest. This is often an area that many are tempted to overlook, especially when it comes to weaknesses. However, by knowing your weaknesses you can find ways to compensate in order to fully serve your clients.

For example, if your weakness is not having time or skill to write your own copy, you can hire someone to handle this. If you are not a techno whiz, you know you need help in this area. Good information to know rather than trying to be someone who wears all the hats.

Granted, when you first start out you may not have the budget to outsource some of the areas you are weak at, but as you grow your business, you will need to in order to continue growing and staying on the leading edge.

Conversely, by knowing your strengths you have a competitive advantage.

Know your competitors strengths and weaknesses. For your small business to succeed, you need to know almost as much about your competitors as you do about your own company and customers
Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t take the time to find out about their competitors until it is too late. By knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you are in a better position to compete. You are also in a better position to know how to more effectively market to your customers.

What keeps your customers awake at night?
Knowing what your customers’ pain points are essential to providing them with solutions. You need to know what the most challenging problems of your target market are; what drives them and most importantly, what keeps them awake at night? This step is about defining their emotional hot buttons.

For some customers and prospects it will be a high sense of values, for others it will be money, or status, or love. There are universal drives that are common to humans, and we all prefer one or two of them over others. If you’re not familiar with these, do some self-assessments on yourself to discover what your own preferences are. This will make it easier for you to identify and understand motivators in others.

Note: If you don’t know your customers' biggest challenges, you need to find out. Not only do you need to find out their pain points, but learn how to effectively utilize this information to develop products and services, marketing campaigns and more.

It’s amazing how many people run a business without ever having asked their customers what they want.

Author's Bio: 

Kathleen Gage: Receive Power Profits 101: Must-Dos in Marketing
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Kathleen works with consciously focused speakers, authors, coaches and consultants helping them to build six figure businesses by packaging their knowledge so they can reach more of their market, impact positive change and create multiple streams of revenue.