When customers visit your hamburger restaurant, they are not only comparing yours to other hamburgers they’ve had, but they’re also comparing the friendliness of your staff to all their customer service experiences. They’re comparing the cleanliness of your restrooms to every other bathroom they’ve visited. Your chairs, tables, decor and ambiance to every other experience they’ve had.

Store Tours

We’ve written a Guide dedicated to Store Tours. This allows you to shop the “true” competition comparing all aspects of a business from product, service, signage, ambiance and more.

True Competition Tips & Tricks

Similar to shopping your direct competition, here are ways to know your true competition:

  • Shop Their Stores, Buy Their Products – Instead of making assumptions about what they offer and how they do business, experience it for yourself.
  • Google Alerts – As mentioned in “Know Your Business” use Google Alerts with the names of your competitors to follow then they are in the
  • Shop Their Stores, Buy Their Products – Instead of making assumptions about what they offer and how they do business, experience it for yourself.
  • Subscribe to their eNewsletter – Understand what they’re sharing with their customers.
  • Follow their Social Media – Upcoming events, products, and programs are often teased on social media. Follow your competitions’ feeds.
  • Trade Area Assessment – Conducting a Trade Area Assessment tool [Word Document] helps you learn everything you want to know about your neighborhood.
  • Visit Their Website – While not always the most up-to-date (think about your site) a great resource
  • Read Their Reviews – It is not only interesting to read what their customers are saying about their service and offerings, but how the competition may respond to customers
  • Google ‘Em – Google your competitors. And, look at the various results found in the news, on blogs, and in images.
  • Google Alerts – Even better than manually Googling, have an alert sent to you automatically when key words appear online. Create a Google Alert. When your keywords show up on the interweb you will receive an email alerting you of that information. Use this to track your company name, your key product, your competition, and other helpful terms.
  • Contact Your Competition – If you ask nicely and agree to meet at a time that works best for the other person, we are 98% certain a shop owner would be happy to meet with you to share what makes them a success.

Understanding your true competition provides insights to best practices from any other business – not just direct competitors. This is a better method to gather best practices as it is how your customers compare you to others.

Know Your Neighborhood

store_tourIf you want more detail on touring your neighborhood, consider the Explore Your Business Neighborhood to Find Great Ideas Course. It has all the tools and templates you need to host a local store tour event… either alone or with your team.