It is always a good idea to do some market research to see what your competitors are doing and to ensure you are keeping up with trends within your industry. It also helps you position yourself in the market (low or high end for example), it helps you appreciate what makes you unique, and it will allow you to see any gaps in the market so that you can develop a niche. For example if no one is providing your therapy on a Saturday morning, you may well find that this is an ideal and popular slot that you can fill and charge a premium price for. It would be a good idea to also conduct some market research (another grand term for asking potential customers their opinions on your business proposal).
I would suggest that you do a competitor analysis before you start in business and then every 6-12 months.
By calling it a competitor analysis, we are making it grander than it is. All that is required for example is for you to collect brochures, compare prices and offerings and go and sample some of their treatments.
Who are your competitors?
As your business develops, it will become easier to identify your competitors. When you are starting out, I encourage you to think broader than the therapist down the road who offers the same service as you. After all someone who has a muscular problem could see an osteopath, a physiotherapist, a chiropractor or a sports massage therapist.
What you need to find out about your competitors:
It is also useful to do a SWOT analysis (see guiding principle 3) taking them into consideration as a potential threat.
You can find out more about the competitors by doing google searches on them, talking to their customers and other therapists in your area
Once you have all the information you need (you’ll never get it all and this is not an exact science) you are in a better position to:
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