As a business owner, you might have the sudden and inexplicable urge to creep on (track) your competitors to get a feel for their prices and services. With these six apps, you can make this job a little bit easier by seeing what others have to say about your competitors, including what they are saying about you.
The Newsle web service is a great way to find out what your competitors are up to. This website pulls information from LinkedIn to determine what your competitors are doing. It archives any articles or pages that use your competitors’ names so you can always be sure what they’re doing, be it news or a site update. Newsle offers the ability to receive email notifications so you can always stay on top of your competitors. This provides a discreet way of knowing what your competitors are doing, so you can continuously take advantage of what they’re not doing.
Just like Newsle, MSN Money is a free app that you can use to keep track of your competitors’ activity. It comes with Windows 8, so you might even already have it on some of your workstations. It acts similarly to Newsle, pulling information from all over the Internet, including news sources, finance blogs, and major newspapers. MSN Money offers a comprehensive view of the stock market, news, and financial performance of industries, allowing you to compare and contrast your own performance with those of competitors.
Glassdoor is known primarily as a tool to help job seekers find employment, but it also has plenty of services that are valuable for you as an employer. One of Glassdoor’s best features is its ability to display salaries and user reviews of companies. This helps you offer more incentives to your own employees to prevent your competitors from poaching your talent. Plus, if your team is confident you provide the best compensation around, they’ll be more likely to work harder.
Feedly RSS Reader
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way of taking multiple blog streams and putting them into one. This gives you the advantage of checking out all of your preferred blogs in just one place. With Feedly, you can read a summary of the blog post before reading the whole thing. This helps you judge what’s most worth your time before indulging in something that’s not important. By using Feedly, you can follow important news in your industry and local communities.
With a free web application and mobile apps available, CrunchBase is an ideal research tool to follow companies, products, and services from all sorts of different backgrounds and areas. CrunchBase will also list products and contact information for any companies that pop up in the search feed.
Google Alerts lets you set up an automatic detection system for when Google detects a new piece of content is published on a particular subject. You can set these up so that the second anything is published about either your company or a competitor, you can get email notifications, meaning you’re always watching… waiting…
A little knowledge of your competition is invaluable in the long run. What are your thoughts and best practices concerning your competition? Let us know in the comments.