Knowing what’s going on in your industry is imperative to success. As an accountant for many different SaaS companies, one of the values I feel I can offer my clients is an objective outlook of the industry. Because I work with a diverse group of companies within the industry, it’s pretty easy for me to pinpoint if one of my clients is falling within the normal ratio for labor to revenue or customer acquisition. By being able to benchmark their progress in comparison to other companies, I can provide them with advice on where they can spend a little more, or when they need to pump the breaks and rethink their strategy.
I really believe that using your competition in this way, to benchmark your progress, as well as to inspire and motivate your company, is a great idea for any company, and you don’t need to wait until a meeting with your accountant to get started. There are lots of ways you can use your competition to your advantage to help your company reach its full potential.
A main way people use their competition is to make sure they aren’t falling behind. By checking out your competition and what services and products they are offering, you can see if you are lagging on the latest software features or if your prices are completely out of the norm. It’s good to have a grasp on your industry so that you know where you stand. If there’s something new you decide you’d like to implement, talk to your accountant to see if the investment would make sense for your current situation.
Another reason it’s good to analyze the competition is that it helps you find your niche. In general, companies do better when they dig out their niche in the market instead of staying too general, and the best thing you can use your competition for is to figure out what makes your company unique so that you can adjust your business plan to best suite you. Of course, some differences might be cause for concern: as mentioned above, if your customer acquisition rate is significantly higher than everyone else in the industry, you might want to check this out. But if your company is far more focused on customer service than other companies, and it works for you, this is something that makes you special. SImilarly, if you go the extra mile (and spend the extra dollar) on your employees, this unique business strategy can help you stand out and attract the best employees and customers.
Lastly, knowing your competition gives you an unparalleled view of the industry from your customer’s perspective. Your customers are going to be shopping around for the best products, so by following in their footsteps and shopping around as if you are a customer, you will be able to see how your company presents itself from the customer’s perspective. This can be a really great resource for companies trying to understand how to improve their company image.
Observing your competition before your next meeting with your accountant can really help you brainstorm new investment and branding ideas. Though you might need the input of your savvy cloud accountant (not naming any names) to put all the details together when creating a budget or new strategy, there are still a lot of things that your competition can help you discover about your company with just a simple google search.