How To Do Competitor Research For Your Small Business
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Tapping into an untouched market is highly unlikely for new small businesses. To do so you will need to innovate a completely new product concept or never-before-seen processes that differentiate you from competitors. In almost every instance, these will have massive upfront investment costs and many small businesses do not yet have the resources for.
Instead of racking your brain to figure out how you can create a completely original business idea, many small businesses will opt to do market research on competitors to identify threats and risks involved with the competition in their respective industry or market.
Competitor research is key to staying on top of the food chain in your business’s market. Not only will it help you understand what your competitors are doing better than you, but it will also help you strategise methods to stand out amongst your competitors and is essential in every business plan.
What Is A Competitive Analysis?
A competitive analysis is the assessment and study of the competitors present in your business’s respective industry or market. Through research your business should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors as well as areas you can improve your processes or strategies to be better than the competition.
Competitive analysis is a crucial process that takes time to formulate an excellent approach and plan. This research can supply a road map of dos and don’ts for strategy and process improvement.
What Is Involved In A Competitive Analysis?
The first and most simple step of competitive analysis is using internet resources to learn about your competitors. The best source of information will likely be a competitor’s home web page or social media pages. From these resources you can identify their mission statement, overall business goals, pricing, advertisements, and even promotional devices.
Have a list of your competitors to give your business insight and the information needed to continuously monitor the actions of your competitors. The list can then be broken down into direct competitors and indirect competitors.
Direct competitors will be other businesses that you will need to directly compete within the short term. Indirect competitors are businesses that are not yet of great concern but could become a threat to the business in the future.
Compare your market strategies to your competitors. If you see your competitors doing something better than you, strategize a plan to eliminate or capitalize on this threat.
Compare websites and other social platforms with your competitors in the same way to understand if their strategy is more optimal than your own. Make sure you do not act on impulse. Short spikes of sales or demands do not always warrant action on your end, so it is important to understand what a tangible threat is and what is not.
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