‘Know your enemy’ message

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Knowing your enemy is key to business success, according to Sheffield based independent accountants Hawsons.

Partner Chris Hill reckons that a failure to find out about potential competitors is one of the main reasons a half of new business ventures fail in the first three years of trading.

Mr Hill said: “The market place isn’t easy at the moment.

“Increases in competition from larger business have been especially noticeable during the recession as they make use of their size and buying power to reduce costs and therefore selling prices to levels which smaller businesses cannot compete against.

“As a smaller business owner, however, one of the best ways to protect against the threat is to research your competitors and then try and mitigate those threats by developing your strengths.”