Regardless of the size of your market, there will always be someone who will try to come in to carve out their share before or after you. Throwing oneself without having made the right considerations can only cause a loss of money and resources (as well as getting you terrible gastritis). Find your startup competition if you want to survive. Have you already read my article on how to do your market analysis in 3 steps?

Well, will you tell me where do I start? Simple, we are going to retrieve as much information as possible about your competitors and to compile graphs that will help us make a comparison between your offer and theirs.

Step 1: what information

Try to answer the following questions:

  • Which companies make up my competition?
  • What market share do they have compared to me?
  • The geographical area of ​​influence?
  • What is the trend of my market share compared to my main competitors?
  • What has been the market share or growth margin for my company and product in the past five years?
  • How well known is my brand compared to the competition?
  • What are my target customers? Is it comparable to that of the competition?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my products compared to those of the competition?
  • How is the quality of customer service?
  • Are my prices the same, higher or lower than those of the competition?
  • Is my distribution strategy different from that of competitors?
  • Are financial figures comparable?

Step 2: tools for finding information

This is a list of the most common tools for a search at zero (or almost) cost:

  • Google Trends: start typing the brand, product or category. You can choose whether to insert a comparison with other queries. You may refine the search by geographical area or type of search.
  • Google Alerts: allows you to monitor mentions of your brand or that of the competition and news on certain topics.
  • Google Predictive Search: open a Google Chrome window incognito. Type your brand or that of the competition, the product name, etc. and try different search combinations.
  • LinkedIn: with 500+ million members, it is the main place to find customers and competitors.
  • Twitter: indispensable for social listening, it allows you to follow trends, influencers, and competitors.
  • Ubersuggest: allows you to analyze the competition websites to retrieve information on SEO strategy, content marketing, and social media.
  • Buzzsumo: allows you to analyze the performance of the content on a given topic or competitor.
  • Surveys, interviews, and panels with your audience. I will never tire of repeating it, you need to know your ideal customer. Talk to them and ask them which products they use. Why, which features they appreciate and which not and how much they are willing to spend on an alternative service.

Step 3: the methodology

You have collected brochures, annual reports, press releases, various articles about your competition. Now you are ready to organize the information. Fill in an Excel or similar table with the data. Choose the most suitable methodology according to the data and objectives.

I suggest you get started with:

  • SWOT analysis: strategic analysis that allows you to compare strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and market threats.
  • Porter 5 forces: Competitors, Incoming Potentials, Replacement Products, Suppliers, Customers
  • Moon Chart: in the left column there are the comparable criteria and in the other columns our company and competitors. The image of the moon with the various quarters indicate the importance of the value.
  • Radar Chart (Kiviat chart): the criteria are represented by rays that originate from a center and form equal angles.
  • Bubble Chart: it allows you to analyze three dimensions (2 in the axes and 1 in the bubble size)

Step 4: analysis of the results

It is the most difficult part because it plans to make decisions with only partial information in hand. At the end of the analysis, you should be able to identify market areas that your competition does not cover and formulate hypotheses on the reason. For example, potential customers are too few in number, concentrate in a limited geographical area, do not show a need that is economically advantageous to cover, etc. Remember that what isn’t interesting for your competition can be gold for you instead.

Contact me if you need support to improve the competitiveness of your company.