Assess your competitors

Do you know what products or services your competitors are selling, how they are promoting them, what prices they are asking, how customers or clients are relating to them, and what they have planned for the future?

Staying informed about your competitors is crucial if you are not to be wrong footed and suddenly find them making inroads into your market share. The internet can prove to be a valuable tool in this respect.

Valuable competitor information

In the old days it was not always easy to acquire such information but today, with the rapid growth of the internet, anyone with a computer and an internet connection has vast amounts of valuable competitor information literally at their fingertips.

The burgeoning growth of e-business, the relative ease and low cost of electronic publishing, and the underlying ethic of full disclosure on the internet have led many companies to publish much more about themselves electronically than they previously did by more conventional means.

Competitors' websites

The obvious place to start is your competitors' own websites. If you do not already know their addresses you can find them in their printed publications, or in online search engines and directories. In fact, a frequent search of www.yahoo.co.uk, www.scoot.co.uk and www.ukdirectory.co.uk, for example, might even unearth actual or potential competitors you did not know you had!

Most companies disclose reams of product and strategy information on their sites. Don't just visit the mainstream pages - pay regular calls also to their 'backend' pages such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), online instruction manuals, troubleshooting guides, and customer service sections.

Other online sources

Alco check out newspapers in your competitors' locality (especially the job ads), patent databases, and company information sites, as well as relevant newsgroups - especially those where your competitors' employees discuss technical issues.

If you have not already done so, consider assigning someone to conduct regular online research on your competitors. Chances are they have someone watching you!

SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 13,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices across the UK. SJD Accountancy also have more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATII, ATT, AAT, ACCA, CA, ACA, FCCA, ACMA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is another unique service for a nationwide accountant to contractors, only SJD Accountancy offers unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's Largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant* face to face.
  • Money back service guarantee. All your telephone calls and emails will be answered the same day or we will make a full refund of that months fee.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee of £110 plus VAT per month.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new client services helpdesk on Freephone 0500 152500 / 01442 275789 or email: lisa.wood@sjdaccountancy.com.

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.