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Competitive Business Analysis

Competitive business analysis is an important part of the strategic decision making for your company. Choosing an effective set of competitors can be critical to the ongoing viability and success of your firm. Competitors, and substitutes, along with disruptors from adjacent markets, are all looking to meet the needs of your target market and potentially take your customers. A successful competitive business analysis will find competitors (both obvious & hidden) that will lead to decisions and action that create near and long term competitive advantage.

Here are a few ways:

1. Visit your competitor's websites.

2. Try to understand who their niche is and if it is the same as yours or different .

3. Visit your competitor's vendor sites. Are they getting their products at a cheaper rate than you'll be getting yours?

4. If they have an offline store, visit the store.

5. As much as this may pain you, if financially possible, buy a product from your top three competitor's online and offline stores. You'll end up with six products but you'll also end up with a great idea of how each side of their business operates.

6. Visit sites like Yahoo! Financial, www.Hoovers.com, www.onesource.com, and www.lexisnexis.com. Some parts of these sites are subscription based, but you might find what you need by simply looking at the free areas.

7. Google your competitor's name and their URL. When you do this, you'll find more than just their sites, but also who's linking to them and what other people are saying about them, (including consumer critique and "hate sites").

For owners of growing businesses who have been around for a while, maybe it's time you refreshed your knowledge of your competitors. Don't put on your hip- waders and rummage through the trash, but consider giving them another look in case they are secretly stealing business that could easily be yours.

 
 

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