CONDUCT A COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
Now that you have been running your business for a while, you will probably have a clearer idea of your competitors. Gathering more information may cost time, money and effort, but there are many benefits to knowing more about what your competition is doing.
What you need to know
The type of competitor information that will be really useful to you depends on the type of business you are and the market you’re operating in. Questions to ask about your competitors include:
- Who they are
- What they offer
- How they price their products
- What the profile and numbers of their customers are compared to yours
- What their competitive advantages and disadvantages are compared to yours
- What their reaction to your entry into the market or any product or price changes might be
- You will probably find it useful to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. This will show you how you are doing in relation to the market in general and specifically your closest competitors.
How to find out more
There are three main ways to find out more about your competitors:
What they say about themselves – sales literature, advertisements, press releases, shared suppliers, exhibitions, websites, competitor visits, company accounts.
What other people say about them – your sales people, customers, local directories, the Internet, newspapers, analysts’ reports, market research companies.
Commissioned market research – if you need more detailed information, you might want to commission specific market research.