I got a lot of good responses to the post “Be the Customer.”  As a follow-on try “Shopping the Competition.”

Be objective…look for the things your competitors are doing right. You are not going to learn anything from things they are doing wrong!

This is a good way to start the year.  Recalibrate your product position or service offerings.  Contact your competitors as a prospective customer and see what they offer…see how customer oriented they are…use their voice response systems and website and see how user-friendly they are…Shop the Competition.


The idea tends to be a little difficult for people to wrap their minds around.

  1. They fear that they will be caught “spying” on their competitors, and everyone in the entire industry will know what they have done!  (PS…Anyone who will criticize you for doing it is only doing so because they do not have the courage to do it themselves.)
  2. They are afraid to see how great their competitors are for fear that they will not be able to keep up.  (FYI…if you are NOT looking then you are SURE to not keep up.)
  3. They only go into it looking for what others are doing wrong, so they miss the opportunity to get new ideas from what they are doing right.  (Be objective and look at it as research.)

Here is a good article on how to!  http://www.nfib.com/business-resources/business-resources-item?cmsid=58799