You already know that starting your own business (online or off) takes a lot of research. It’s important that you find out all you can about the market you are involved with. You need to learn everything you can about the people who buy products in that niche. You should also find out what products your competitors in this niche are offering. Unfortunately,research is not something that ever stops for people who want to make money online. There will always be a need to watch your competitors,even after you’ve gotten your business off the ground. How will you know that you’re the best if you don’t know what everybody else is doing? We can only speculate that those who have used source but did not see the gains they were expecting perhaps went forward with insufficient knowledge. We do not know where you stand with your own knowledge,and so we have to remember those who can easily get confused only because they are fairly new to business. The thing about just starting out is you read something,and you can have the impression that is all there is. Yes,you will probably not be able to use everything you read about,but the important thing is to bookmark it in your mind for possible future use. The very best thing is to maintain an open mind,and look to see if there may be something you can extract and apply it in your business. Twitter seems like it is meant mainly for chatting. And it is,for the most part,as long as you keep your tweets under 140 characters. But Twitter also lets you know what’s hot at the moment in your niche so it’s very useful. This will give you great insight into what your prospects are looking for. You will also be able to tell what they’re not wanting. You will also get the inside scoop on who they accept and who they don’t,as well as why this is. You can also follow your competitors so that you can see what they’re marketing and how they’re going about it. It’s a good way to entertain yourself while working. The Free Library is another tool that can help you. If you don’t have time to visit your local library,this gives you a very good online substitute. Not many public libraries could hope to equal the collection of online books and publications you can find here. Like any search engine,you can look up keywords,names of businesses or products,etc. And it is free. You should look for free resources whenever you can. It allows you to look through books and periodicals. For tracking any kind of financial data about your competitors,one of the best resources is Google Finance. This works better for bigger companies. This site lets you see any income statements and other data that were filed by companies. This site also shows you any online activity about the business,such as blogs or news stories. If your competitors are individuals and small businesses,you probably won’t find out much about them here. Anyone who has a corporation,though,and is competing on that level,can find many uses for this tool. There are a lot of ways to learn about your competitors. If you only need some superficial facts,a search engine can probably dig that up. Anyone seeking more complete information can use some of the tools we’ve discussed here,as well as others. You naturally want to gain as much knowledge as possible,but without having to work at it all day long. You want to leave yourself some time to build your own business. You have to remember,though,that you have to consider your competition before you can make intelligent decisions about your own business. There’s no such thing as knowing too much about them!