Business Intelligence -
Knowledge Management - Small Business Style
Twenty years ago, Business intelligence otherwise known as knowledge management (or
KM) in small business often meant having waiting to
have your now former clients tell you what the competition did
right and what you did wrong. Your competition could claim
just about anything they want, and short of consumer fraud or
proving slander/libel, there was nothing you could do about it.
Business intelligence for the small business
entrepreneur has arrived and if you don’t use it, be sure that
your competition does. Business
intelligence could now be called… the Internet.
Your competition probably isn’t going to
post their hourly and daily rates.
But you can get a good sense of how they are growing, what
products they have added, if there has been a change in management
or if they’ve added new locations.
You can often tell how they are
doing by how much effort and change they’ve put into their
website. Does it
change? Does it
reflect growth? If
it’s a franchise, how many locations have they added, how many
isn’t limited to the competition’s own website either.
You can find out who links to them and often tell what
kinds of alliances they have obtained.
A search on the name alone can yield some very interesting
information on who has written about them, what kinds of things
people are saying. There are many other public records that
can also be examined and offline research that can be done.
in mind that you aren’t looking for this kind of competitive
intelligence because you are fearful or envious of your
intelligence is important because if they’ve found something that works, you
want to know what is available, what works, and you want to be
able to answer customer questions intelligently. You need to
know what your competition is saying about themselves, their
products, you, and your products.
intelligence for small business
intelligence is necessary in the small business world
for talking to your customers and prospects. Your consumers
will know what your competition is doing and so should you.
If a customer asks you about a particular kind of service that
only your competition offers, you will know who they've been
talking to and you will be able to give an intelligent response
rather than showing your confusion.
your competition is using a new term, you should know what that is
when talking with customers. If a customer mentions a
competitive product or service, you need to know what they are
talking about so that you can talk intelligently and be able to
make comparisons. Is your product equal or better? Or
do you know where your service doesn't match up?
How do your products/services compare with
others on the market? While companies often make claims of
superior service, how many can back them up with objective,
quantifiable data? Are they better than you as they
claim? Can they prove it? Can you prove that you are
better? Business intelligence adds teeth to claims of
superior performance and service.
can do a lot of your own Business intelligence.
But there are also companies out there who do this
professionally. They build apples to apples comparisons by
talking with your competition, obtaining their materials, and
doing an independent analysis.
Business intelligence means posing as a potential client to
find out more and knowing where to find records to dispute or
validate competitive claims. Does your competition really
have the number of employees and/or customers that they
claim? How long have they really been in business?
Does the owner really have the kind of experience that is
claimed? These are all questions that Business intelligence companies can answer.