Becoming an Internet Spy is vital to the success of your horse business!
To be effective in today’s Information Age you must become great at collecting, storing, understanding, and using information. And some of the most important information to gather is info on your business competition!
Did you know that one of the best and easiest ways to discover information on your type of business is by doing Internet searches to check out your competition?
Internet Search Engines – the best way to spy
Lets say you are young Horse Sitter business that could benefit from more knowledge about this type of business. Start off by heading over to a top search engine like google.com, yahoo.com, msn.com. or one of the other top search engines. Then you put in a Keyword to search. Maybe one like, “Horse Sitter”, “Equine Sitter”, “Pet Sitter”, “Professional Pet Sitter”, “Animal Sitter” and even “How to start a pet sitting business” or “How to run a horse sitting business”.
You should also check out Amazon.com (or other Internet book sites) to see if they have any books, ebooks, and/or tapes/videos on this business type.
You can also check for e-groups at groups.yahoo.com and groups.google.com. Egroups are online and email discussion forums where you can gain opinions, advice, and resource information on practically any subject.
Have a note book and pencil ready to take notes. Also make a few new Bookmarks or Favorites folders to save web page addresses to as you search.
What to search for? Plenty! What are the important areas of your horse business? You can learn from what your business competition is already doing or not doing. Check out the top ten sites that show up for each search. These are the companies that are doing some things right or they wouldn’t be showing up in the top spots.
- Services: what kind and what are they charging for them?
- What type of info are they posting?
- What forms, if any, do they use?
- What type of sales letter copy are they using?
- What type of logo, if they have a logo?
- Do they show photos, if so, of what and of what size?
- Which web site was the easiest to use and find info on?
- What special skills and/or experience do they have? Like:(emergency veterinary tech skills and experience) (Specializing in equine care for 24 years!)
- Are they posting a guarantee? If so, what kind?
- What about insurance? What kind?
- Do they have a blog, forum, or articles on their site?
- Do they use paypal buy it buttons?
- Do they have case studies or white sheets to read?
- Which site do you find the most interesting and why?
- Which businesses would you be tempted to do business with if you needed their service or product and why?
Google Alerts – working as your spy delivering info to your mailbox
This is one of the coolest tools to keep you abreast the latest news on your business subject! You can set Google Alerts to spy on your business competition by having it send you the most up to date news posted to the web on whatever business keywords you find useful. Have daily email notices sent to you on any subject! I Love this!
Some terrific uses of Google Alerts include:
- monitoring a developing news story
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
- getting the latest on a celebrity person or horse or equestrian event
If you are running a horse boarding operation you might have Google Alerts like these:
- Horse Boarding
- Horse Law
- Horse Contacts
- Horse Business
- Horse Marketings
- Horse Care
- Horse Feed
Collect, Store, Analyze, and Learn from:
Once you start gathering all this info you need to put your mind to work on how you can make your business the best of the best — what can you improve upon? What can you do that will make you stand out from the rest, now that you have a better picture of what the rest or doing?
Make a new favorites folder and save the links to the top business sites you have found. This way you can check back from time to time and see if they make changes and if they stay in business. The ones that are there year after year and keep their web site updated are the ones you need to study more closely.
You should also make a new folder on your computer named, ‘My Competition’ where you store text and word files on info you have collected, like sample forms, ideas, notes, etc…
Now diligently and consistently collect and go over this info so you can get a better overall feel for what your competition is up to and what seems to be working or not working for them and how you can do a better job than they do.
You should also surf and check out equestrian forums. Reading them can give you great ideas about what people with horses are seeking in the way of services and what they like or don’t like about the horses businesses they are already dealing with.
When you can help someone with a question do so, and always post your business contact info and web site address at the bottom of your message.
I know if you take the time to study your Competition you will start to discover ways you can gallop to the head of the herd.
P.S. You could read this and think it is a great idea but then never take the time and effort to actually do the action it calls for. You maybe so busy working in your business that you never have the time to work ON your business. Hey, I have the same trouble too. That is why I set up recurring Appointments with Alarms in my Chaos Intellect program to help keep me on track.
Come on, you know that a lot of what you get busy with each and every day is not the most important stuff! Prioritize your life! Figure out what actions give you the best return and do them more consistently and cutout or hand over to others the time stealing stuff that doesn’t really lead you or your business forward.
I found this audio helpful to me: NEW audio: Secrets to personal success and personal growth in 2008 It talks about how your health and working on improving it can lead to improves in all areas of your life. I find this true. You can work your business well if you are always feeling sick or tired or just a bit fuzzy minded.