Understanding your market is the first step in creating a successful staffing firm. After all, how can you provide just what your clients are looking for if you don’t know exactly who they are and what they need? To gain the competitive advantage, you need to consider the importance of market research. Here are five questions you can ask yourself – the answers will help you get that winning edge!

1. Who Are You Going After and Who Are You Up Against?

To identify your target market, answer the following questions: What services am I selling? Who will most likely buy or use these services? Then find out which businesses are going after the same target market as you. What are their differentiators? What is their geographic reach? You can easily find this information in business directories.

2. What Can Your Competition and Your Customers Teach You?

Instead of ignoring or fearing your competition, use them as a learning tool. Assess their business model—what are their strengths and weaknesses? You can imitate their strengths and use their weaknesses to your advantage. You’ll need to gain in-depth insights about your customers, too, so you can maximize revenue potential, increase customer retention and boost prospective clients. You can use a mix of many tools and methods to measure consumer insight, your own position in the market and the positions of your competitors,  including social media analysis tools.

3. Figure Out: What’s Stopping You?

What are some of the barriers to entry in your market? Use them to discourage your competition from challenging your market share. This tactic can be very effective against new competition, further entrenching your business and preserving your revenue potential.

4. How Can You Stay Ahead?

To be successful, you can’t sit back and relax after you’ve achieved your competitive advantage. After all, your competition isn’t going to sit back and let you! You can maintain your spot on the cutting edge by keeping your finger on the pulse: anticipating trends in the industry, constantly monitoring and researching your competitors and adapting to your customers’ wants and needs.

The better you understand your target audience, the more likely you are to create products and services that buyers are willing to pay for. And having that critical edge can separate failing or mediocre companies from successful ones.

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