Business plans aren’t written in a vacuum: they only work if the strategy takes into account what your competitors are doing and how they’re doing it. And they only work when you surround yourself with good people: reliable suppliers, freelancers and sub-contractors. So if you’re a freelancer or small business owner, how can you get this kind of competitive intelligence – information you need to make better decisions, formulate better strategy and take advantage of opportunities?
Fortunately, the UK government requires businesses to submit information regularly about their activities – incorporation status, legal filings, financial information, names of governing bodies, and much, much more. Yet what many people don’t realize is that this information is available to the general public and to small business owners like you. But why should you care?
For starters, these registered businesses include your competitors and suppliers, and Companies House web check can help you gain a competitive advantage. Your search will reveal which suppliers you can trust, where openings in the marketplace are, as well as the latest information on your competitors, including details that just might help you pain an accurate picture of your competitors’ and suppliers’ business strategies and long-term viability.
For example, information on how much debt a supplier is carrying might determine the terms you set for delivery of product; or similarly, debt information might give an indication as to how nimble a competitor is, and how likely they are to be able to access capital to compete with you if you extend your business into a new area or market. This kind of information is not only legal, it is also ethical – part of a growing field called Competitive Intelligence, or CI, that has been popular in America for many years, but that businesses in the UK are only now starting to use more aggressively in order to make better decisions with their limited funds.
See how you can improve your business today, and how you can begin your own CI programme, by visiting Companies House web check.