Every business has competition. It’s a factor that you have to consider in making business decisions. Numbers may indicate that you have a positive bottom line, but you also have to check your portion in the market share. There may be an opportunity to increase your piece and get a bigger slice of the pie. How do you do it?
First, you need to gather information and take a look at the bigger picture to determine how you can grow your market segment. A competitor’s analysis is necessary to determine the other players in the industry so you can strategise how to position your business at a higher part of the pyramid.
Healthy competition is good. Having a strong competitor may indicate that the other business is doing something effective that appeals to your target market. Analysing them can bring you insights on how to improve your business.
Start your evaluation by listing down 5 to 10 businesses from your industry that pursues similar customers. If you have a store, include those within your vicinity or locale. You can create a matrix to profile your competitors, which may incorporate a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis of each. Fill in the information through research and data-gathering. Here are some ways you can get data about businesses that offer the same products or services to your target clients.
A rich repository of information is the worldwide web. You can check your competitors’ websites and social media accounts and analyse their traffic, influence and engagement with their followers. There are websites that measure and compare online metrics of your brand and those of other players in your field. Other online sources are blogs and review sites where you can read the opinion of other people on various brands.
Browse through articles and features of your competitors and see how the media portray them. Review how frequent other businesses are showcased and evaluate the effect these stories are on their brand.
Annual reports and industry documents may reveal relevant data that can help you gauge your competitors’ standing and assess them with yours. These reports may include financial data, graphs and other metrics that you can use in your business.
Surveys, FGD and interviews
Either you hire a research company or do the market research yourself, talking directly to customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the industry is a big help. Methods you can use are surveys, focused group discussion or interviews, whether formal or informal. You can determine the reputation of your competitors based on the responses and feedback of your interviewees. Talk to other experts in the industry, some of which may be within your circle or in groups like EO Melbourne.
Try the products and services of your competitors. Visit their stores and offices. Engage with their employees. Know the situation firsthand by witnessing how the target market patronises their offerings. Through this method, you will see the best practices of your competitors, as well as areas for improvement, which you can learn and apply in your business.
When you have gathered the information and made a comprehensive profile of your competitors, determine your positioning in the market. From there, strategise how you can bring your business towards the top. You may already be doing well right now, but don’t settle for good when you can aim to be the best in your industry.