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Challenge: Back to School 2021

​Game-Changing Tips for Your Business or Non-Profit: Know Your Competition!

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When I started WIT 15 years ago, I spent time learning about the other non-profits that were in a similar space. I wanted to figure out what they were offering and how WIT could fill the gaps. Knowing my competition and being able to specifically address how WIT was different became a total game-changer. It can be for you, too!


Knowing your competition can help you:

Stand Out in the Crowd
When you know what others are offering, you can figure out where there's room to shine. This is your chance to come up with something fresh and different that'll catch the eye of your target market. In the case of WIT, there were already thousands of nonprofits focused on “youth leadership” - finding WIT’s differentiator helped us stand out. Also, by identifying areas where your competitors are strong, you can focus your resources on areas where you have a competitive advantage.

Make Greater Impact
You can’t do all the things. Knowing your competition can help you find your best potential partners. From the beginning, I knew that WIT wouldn’t be able to provide all the resources our customers needed. So we looked for ways we could partner with similar organizations. Ultimately the goal was (and is) to help young people and I wasn’t concerned about sharing the spotlight. Whether it's through joint ventures, partnerships, or collaborations, aligning with other entities in your space can help you open up new opportunities and expand your reach.

Gain Customer Insights
Knowing your competition extends beyond products or services; it includes understanding your shared customer base. Analyzing your competitors' customer reviews, feedback, and preferences provides valuable insights into what customers value. I’ve spent hours listening to our customers tell us what they love about another program and also what they didn’t like. This information continues to help develop WIT strategies, and helps us tailor our programs to meet customer expectations and enhance their overall experience.

In a world where everyone's got something going on, knowing your competition isn't about copying – it's about knowing what’s out there so you can make informed decisions, innovate, and position yourself strategically. Whether you're running a business or a non-profit, keeping tabs on your competition is key!

Each week I'm diving deeper into the 15 Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Running a Non-Profit. You can also catch me chatting about similar lessons on the DO WIT podcast.

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