What does your favorite football team and your toughest competitor have in common?

It is a Sunday and it is getting close to football season. I am a college football fan. My challenge is that the team I root for, the one where my father in law became a NCAA Hall of Famer running back, and has served four generations of Reynolds’ is not a fan favorite where I live. But I am a Husker through and through! In fact, I am an alum. However, I live in KC and am surrounded with Tigers and Jayhawks and Wildcats. I don’t do a lot of talking about my team around here but I do a lot of listening. It never ceases to amaze me how many football fans know everything about the opposing teams–especially their favorite rival. It doesn’t just happen. They really study up.

Ok, so here is my point. Why is it we know so little about our toughest business competitors. We say there isn’t information available. Really? Or is tougher to get? I ask you, if you spent the same amount of time collecting information on business competitors the way you do your favorite sports rival do you think you would know more than you know now? So what can you do? Go to trade shows and listen; ask your sales force to report what customers say; do surveys of end consumers; pull all the public information you can including their facebook fan pages, their websites and PR articles. I have a planning workbook that includes over two pages of sources for data on businesses–public and private. There IS information. Think about how that would help you in YOUR planning for the upcoming year (which is coming up sooner than you think). You would have a strategy that considers your competitive strengths and weaknesses–increasing your odds for a winning season, er, year! Let me know if I can help point you toward the goal line.

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