Coming to Terms with the Basics of Competitor Analysis

When drawing up your business plan, creating a “competitive analysis” section is of the utmost importance. Competitor analysis allows you to understand your current and potential competition, ensuring the survival and growth of your business. Think of this as a basic profile detailing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors; enabling you to plan ahead and be at the top of your game. The first step in your competitor analysis should be to figure out what their strengths are in terms of service, price, inventory, convenience, and location. Balance out these strengths by noting any corresponding weaknesses that you may be able to take advantage of. Take note of their marketing strategies and consider how you could adapt your own strategies to be a step ahead of them. Take the time to figure out what your competitors’ basic objectives are and who their target markets are. Try to tweak your own objectives to set yourself up as a future industry leader.

Competitor analysis might sound complicated and time-consuming. You may have no idea where to begin. Gathering information, however, may be simpler than you think. You have a wealth of valuable resources at your fingertips. Visit competitor websites, search the web for news, public relations, blog posts, social media posts, and product/service comparisons. Make use of online tools, such as Similar Web, which uses a panel of over 100 million monitored devices to gather information, to compare your competitors’ online marketing strategies to your own.

Finally, take a trip to your competitors’ locations and get a first-hand account of their sales materials and of their customer service. Learn from their mistakes and successes.