How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

Whether you’re starting a business, you’ve been around for 100+ years, or you’re somewhere in between, it’s important to conduct a competitive analysis.

A competitive analysis allows you to see gaps within the market that you can take advantage of. You can find ways to improve your business, create a better marketing strategy, and ultimately produce a stronger business.

Although time-consuming, breaking down the process into steps will make it more manageable. 

Tips to Help You Analyze the Competition

Find Businesses

Find businesses similar to your own.

These competitors will help you learn valuable information. When scoping out the competition, try using such tools as web searches, social media, and websites specifically geared to help answer your questions about other businesses. 

When looking for competitors, keep in mind that they can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect.

  • Direct competitors sell the same products as you to a similar customer base.
  • Indirect competitors sell similar products to a different customer sector.

Research the Business 

Now, it’s time to collect data on the businesses you’ve found.

Look at their online presence. Is their website consumer-friendly? Do they have social media accounts? How often do they interact with their customers? Research how happy their customers are.

Look up online reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, and Instagram. Try reaching out to the customers who left negative reviews to learn more about their experience and direct them to your own business. Throughout this process, try to brainstorm ways your business could do better. 

Follow the SWOT framework 

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

This is an invaluable framework to keep in mind as you research businesses. SWOT is fairly straightforward:

  • Strengths are factors that set the business apart from others.
  • Weaknesses are areas the business falters in.
  • Opportunities are external factors that give the business a competitive advantage.
  • Threats are external factors that could potentially harm businesses.

Conduct a SWOT analysis on the businesses you are researching and your own. Then compare. Can you make their strengths your strengths? Can you benefit from their weaknesses? What external opportunities are available to you? Is there anything threatening other businesses that perhaps doesn’t affect you? 

Print Can Help You Beat the Competition

Print can be the tool your businesses can use to succeed.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that other businesses may not be utilizing print advertising. They are losing out on the advantages that print provides: enhanced customer respect, greater visibility, better customer attention and retention, and much more. You can turn their weakness into your strength to draw in a larger customer base. 

Create a Competitive Analysis Report

Simplify and organize your data into a competitive analysis report.

Your report should include your business’s target market, how your product(s) compared to your competitors, current and projected market share, sales, and revenues, pricing models comparison, marketing strategy and social media strategy analysis, and an overview of customer ratings.

Improve your business

You’ve acquired all the data; now it’s time to use it.

Your competitive analysis will have unsurfaced countless ways your business can improve and beat out the competition. Take action and create a better business! 

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