This week I make no apologies for taking this from my book “Set Up a Therapy Business: a step by step guide” . It does what is says on the tin…if you are just setting up in business it covers all the steps you need to set up in business with lots of links to other resources… but don’t just take my word for it.
Check on the reviews on Amazon.
You can get a copy of the book here.
When do you last check the market place and find out what your competitors are up to?
Have new competitors emerged since you last looked?
This is focused on the therapy business, but if your business is in a different market the same principle applies and can be adapted easily.
Step 1: who else is out there?
The first step to finding out about your competitors is to:
- look on the Internet
- read alternative magazines
- look in local newspapers and magazines
- check the Yellow Pages
- ask friends who they go to, who they would recommend, and why.
Step 2: compare and contrast
Set up a database of competitors (either on the computer or manually if
you hate computers) and include the following information:
- the range of services they offer
- a cost per session
- the ease of booking
- their qualifications
- their location
- what is their pricing policy?
- do they give concessions or block discounts?
- particular specialisms they offer
- how do they promote themselves?
- how long have they been established?
- who are their customers?
- what are their values and business strategy (how do you think will they respond to a given set of circumstances)?
- their strengths and weaknesses (this can be started now but is often completed after step 4—see below)
- any further notes (for example, one person may be a well known therapist)
- What is their unique selling proposition do you think ( why would people buy from them?).
Step 3: gather your information while you may!
As an unknown individual, now is the time to glean as much information
as possible. Therefore, for your five key competitors (those who
are the most popular and successful):
- look at their website, brochures and marketing material (it can give you ideas if nothing else!)
- visit as many therapy rooms as you can
- phone up and organise having a treatment.
Step 4: into the lion’s den…
When you visit this is the perfect opportunity to be nosy! Some of the
questions you can think about:
- How are they set up and organised?
- Are they close to where you intend to practise?
- Have they positioned themselves in a similar niche to the one you have chosen?
- Is it easy to find?
- Is there parking/is it on a bus route?
- What is the area like and is it appropriate for the way it is marketed (e.g. high end)?
- Do they have a receptionist?
- Does it seem professional?
- Do they seem very busy?
- How many different sorts of therapy are available?
- What are the rooms like?
- Is the clinic easily accessible?
- How was the treatment/therapy?
- What did you like/didn’t like about the session?
- Was it value for money?
- Did they offer further sessions/additional services?
- Would you recommend them, and if so, why?
Step 5 Assess your competitors strengths and weaknesses
Complete your assessment of the competition. Take the top 5 competitors.
What are their strengths
If they did not exist what would be lost to the world?
What do they excel in?
Where are they missing a trick?
What would you do to improve on what they do already if you were in their position