Understanding who your competitors are

To fully understand the strengths of your business, it’s essential to understand your competition.

Healthy competition is good for business and understanding your competitors keeps you on your toes.

To start your competitor analysis, identify and list your direct competitors – companies who sell similar products or services to you in the same geographical region.

Now, identify companies who may not sell the same product as you but are competing with you for a slice of the customers’ specific budget. For example, a company’s marketing budget could be spent with either a digital marketing agency, a branding agency, a PR agency or even a copy writer. From now on, keep an eye on what these businesses are up to as an on-going concern. Use local media, trade press and obviously the internet (including social media sites LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).

Next, ‘get to know’ a handful of key competitors in as much detail as possible. Again, use the media and the internet but also word of mouth. What are people saying about them? Look at reviews and if you can, speak to someone who has actually used (or declined) their product or service.  What are these companies saying about themselves? What do they charge? Don’t forget to check out their own website and marketing materials.

Once you have gained an insight into what your key competitors offer, Create a SWOT analysis to identify their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will reveal what they do differently/better/worse than you and how they are positioned in the market. It may even highlight mistakes they are making and save yourself from possible setbacks in the future.

Armed with this information, you can now review your own strategies and decide what you need to improve on or shout about louder. You may even want to change your own position in the marketplace or your pricing structure. That’s OK – in fact, that’s great. You are making informed decisions about your business to help it thrive – and it’s all thanks to your competitors!

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more business advice get in touch with our expert* Neil on LinkedIn?

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.