Promoting your product or service is a game you have to win. You can’t win this game if you don’t know the score. Watch any sports event and it doesn’t take long till you see the coaches and players looking up at the scoreboard. It’s impossible for them to analyze what they need to be doing without knowing what the score is. Successfully running any business also relies on knowing what the score is. Many business people take the attitude that they don’t care what the competition does. They feel as long as they offer a quality product at a reasonable price there is no need to worry about XYZ Company. While that is a nice philosophy nothing could be farther from the truth. Knowing your competition is the key to beating your competition. You need to know his strengths and weaknesses.You need to know how he thinks and reacts and where his bottom line is when you are price competing for like products. This is what can put you over the edge in that next contract negotiation. Watch for his advertising and web site. Go to his suppliers web sites and learn about the products that they have to offer and how they differ from yours. Talk to his customers see if they’ll tell you what they like about his company and products and what they don’t like. Attend networking events and other events where your competition will be and see what they have to say and who they talk to. The more knowledge you obtain on your competition the better. It’s like having a copy of the other teams playbook. You can call the plays in advance and have a pre-planned defense in play.