How to analyze your competitors
Who they are and what they offer
Before a business can analyze their competitors, they need to know who they are. So the first step for a company who is looking to analyze their competitors is for them to discover and list any competing companies so that they can proceed to gather information about them.
A business will usually have two types of competitors. There are direct competitors which are the businesses that customers may choose to purchase a good or service. And there are indirect competitors. Indirect competitors are a business' competitors that work to get a competitors customer's indirectly.
Indirect competitors do not offer a similar type of product but they might offer something that customers may choose to use instead of the other businesses product. For instance, people may choose to rent movies instead of see them in the theater, making the movie rental company an indirect competitors to the movie theater business.
After a company knows who their competition is, they must also be familiar with the trends and dynamics of the market place. Competitive intelligence is what a company needs to use to analyze their competition. Competitive intelligence involves gathering information concerning the demand of the products, the supply, and the how each of the companies meet the demands of the market place. After the company gathers the needed information, they will then analyze the data.
Where to get information
There are a lot of different ways for businesses to find out about their competition. They can visit their competitor's website, walk into their stores, talk to their competitor's sales people, or request their marketing information. It is best for a company to use a couple of these ideas to get the most information they can about their competitor.
What information to get
To best analyze a business' competition, there is specific information that they should gather from their competition. This can include things such as what types of services and products they offer, what their marketing message is, what audience they target, the different prices they offer, their guarantees, their hours of operation, any delivery options and so on, how they position their own brand, as well as what their competitive advantage is.
Your own strengths and weaknesses
When analyzing another company's strengths and weaknesses it is also important for the company to look at their own strengths and weaknesses. One way to do this is by using the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). This can help a business identify their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and any threats they may have from competitors. This is a great way for a business to see how they rate compared to their competitors.
A company should talk discuss what they offer the market place that there competitors don't, and why customers like to do business with them. Then they can discuss what things they can improve, what their company doesn't do very well, and how other companies do it better.
There is usually always room to grow in the market place, and a company should figure out what opportunities they have to grow. They can look toward the future and try to plan what opportunities could present themselves to their company.
When analyzing competitors, it is vital for businesses to think about the threats that could face their own company as well as any threats that may face the market place in general. Planning for future problems can help one business stay afloat while a competitive business goes under.