Competitive Analysis to find out who your competitors are
This article is about Competitive Analysis to find out who your competitors are. Before you commence a startup or introduce a new offering, or move into new markets, you must know your competitors. To give you an idea of the direct and indirect competition you face and how you can stand out. Ongoing analysis is also worthwhile. To keep up with changes and any improvements they make. As well as how those changes and modifications might impact your business.

What are you trying to find out
Knowing who your competitors are, what they do and finding their price list is just the very start of Competitive Analysis. You have not even scratched the surface. It’s not going to be good enough. You need more, and this is an excellent place to start:

Work out how many competitors there are, where they’re located, how big and profitable they are.
Understand their strengths and weaknesses
Define their value proposition and sales strategy.
Analyse their offering and determine how it differs from yours
What are they doing well, and how could they be doing better?
Understand how your Competitors products and services compare to your offering. Do they offer better quality or are they cheaper than you?
Have a look at their pricing and discount strategies. What offers do they usually offer?
What are they going to do next? And what are their short to medium-term plans?

What’s their marketing and associated advertising strategy?

Look at why a customer would use them over you. Challenge your team to develop well-thought-out arguments about how their offerings are better than yours.

By getting answers to these questions and some well-thought-out analysis, you will gain a clearer picture of your competitors and how they are perceived in the market. It also helps you view yourself from a competitors point of view too.

Be honest and focus on your customers
If you are going to get valuable answers, it’s essential to be honest with yourself. It’s pointless taking a look at competitors on the assumption that you are way better than them. “And there’s no way they can beat us at anything”. It sounds very naive, but it happens a lot. And it’s the main reason why Competitor Analysis is not done. What could we possibly learn from their attitude?

An open mind, honesty and an ego-free environment will mean you will learn new things about them, find ways to improve your business and have a clearer view of how your competitors view of customers.

The main competitors
It’s important not to work on Competitors based on who’s easy to find information on. Those on the top page of Google, for instance. Focus effort on your core competitors and the disruptors. To gain an excellent understanding of businesses that are trying to get customers that could be yours. And your current customers too. First, focus on your top 5 competitors.

4. Do thorough research
There’s a lot of research to do, conversations to be had and collating the information into relevant piles. Try and verify everything. One vital piece of information could be wrong, especially if your biases and experience tell your gut feel that it’s right. The effort you put into your research, the more beneficial the analysis will be to you and your future business. But remember, Competitive Analysis is not just for after Christmas. It needs to be done on a consistent and ongoing basis. That way, you are constantly learning about your market and competitor. Leave the one-time Competitive Analysis project for the five-year business plan to your competitors. We can guarantee that one of those companies in your market will have an excellent understanding of the competitive environment. Let’s hope it’s you and your business.

5. Buy something
Becoming a customer of your competitors is a great to experience e what a customer will go through. Assess the product and services by breaking them down into parts. Assess the customer journey and the way customers are treated after buying from them.

6. Conduct surveys
Survey your customers to get their thoughts. Ideally, this should be both customers and prospective customers who may be currently buying from rivals. A survey is an ideal way of doing this. Try and included questions about their experience and what they like about your and competitors. And what would they want to see you offering that others do (or don’t). Another way is to arrange a call and pick up the phone. But remember to have structured questions to direct your conversation. But it’s a conversation to be had, not an interrogation.

7. Network
Being an active networker in your local business community and industry will keep your finger on the pulse. You will attend trade shows and conferences to listen to what the world is saying about your industry, competitors, and you.

Conclusion
Competitive Analysis to find out who your competitors are
This article was about Competitive Analysis to find out who your competitors are. Before commencing a startup, introducing a new product, or moving into new markets, you must know your competitors. And ongoing analysis is important to keep up with changes and any improvements they make. As well the changes and modifications that may impact your business.

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