Your competitors are those other venues that you lose business to. They may be based locally to you or depending on your market, they may be based in other areas. You might have different competitors for different types of business or markets, e.g. conferences, exhibitions, weddings, bedrooms.
WHY do I need to know?
You always need to know what your competition offers so that you fully understand the marketplace in which you operate and what your customers may be comparing you with. Knowing your competition inside out will help you to understand;
- The choice your customer has and design your questioning technique to assist the sales process
- What your strengths and opportunities are so that you can correctly target focus your sales activity and also your sales strategy and techniques
- What your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are to help you present and sell your product
- Opportunities to differentiate your product from others and make you stand out
- Rate opportunity and challenge and prepare your sales presentation for that
- Areas of your business that are weaknesses and address these
WHAT do I need to know?
You’ll need to know everything about them, in fact you need to know them as well as you know your own venue;
- Physical product – number of bedrooms, meeting rooms, breakout areas, size and capacity, layouts, features, audio visual, external space, parking.
- Food & drink offering, style of service, style of menus, atmosphere
- Location, access, transport, noise, area
- Pricing, delegate rates, food, drink, extras, accommodation, pricing strategy
- Sales & marketing activity and messages
- Who are their customers, how do they look after them
- Who are their key team members
- What trends are they following, how environmentally friendly are they
WHO needs to find out?
Utilise all of your team and resources to gather information on your competition. Your chef will have connections with their chefs, your general manager with their general manager, past employees, all sorts of departments come into contact with your competitors and will be able to help you gather information and have a thorough knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses.
HOW do we find out?
There are lots of ways you can gather information such as;
- Arrange a visit and ask to be shown round. If they’ve launched new products or refurbished as to have a look.
- Look at their website and sign up for newsletters, follow them on social media, look at their profiles on other websites such as Venuedirectory.com
- Frequently check out their prices on their website and other booking channels
- Read their customer reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor
- Ask your customers – what do they like and dislike about them (never be derogatory about your competitors)
WHEN should we do this?
You should continually gather information about your competitors and keep your competitor analysis up to date so that you are constantly reviewing your market position, sales & marketing strategy and activity in light of the this information.