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Founder's club - How to do better competitor analysis

August 3, 2022

Doing good competitor analysis is an important part of developing our ideas.

Indeed, ongoing competitor analysis to keep our finger on the pulse is even better!

Below is some steps you can take today to get started.

Thanks to simplybusiness.co.uk for this great content. 

How to do a competitor analysis: step-by-step

1. Identify your competitors

You probably have a good idea who your competitors are, but do you know what sets them apart? If you only take the occasional look at their social media channels without digging deeper into their overall strategy, you could be missing out on big opportunities.

The key here is to look at direct competitors that match your business in terms of the products or services they offer, their geographic location, and size. Choose three or four key competitors and give a short overview as part of your analysis, including:

  • a short description of each competitor
  • revenue – for listed companies this information is publicly available on the London Stock Exchange. This can be harder to find for private companies, but you can check Companies House as a starting point.
  • date established
  • management information

2. Review products and/or services

This is where you should list the features and benefits of your products or services, and compare them in detail with each of your competitors. A good way to do this is to create a simple table that breaks everything down by price, quality, and key features.

3. Analyse their marketing strategy

This section is where you can look at how your competitors are promoting their business to customers. You’ll include things like:

  • social media – compare what platforms they use, how often they post, and how much customers are engaging with content
  • advertising – do they have printed flyers or posters? If so, where are they?
  • content strategy – what’s their website like? Do they keep a blog? Do they showcase customer case studies and testimonials?
  • newsletters and emails – sign up to your competitors’ email newsletters if they have one to see how they’re communicating with their customers
  • events – see if your competitors are regularly attending trade shows, selling at local market stalls, or putting on events

4. Pricing

It’s important to regularly analyse your pricing strategy against your competitors so you don’t miss potential threats to your business. A similar business might drop their prices for example, so you need to make sure you’re staying on top of changes in demand and seasonal sales.

It’s not all about price though. Consider how price reflects quality, as well as any shipping and return costs.

5. Customer reviews

Trawling through review sites might seem like a chore, but it can be a fantastic indicator of what your competitors are doing well – and what they aren’t so good at.

Whether it’s reviews on Facebook, Google, Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, or one of the many other sites available, there are plenty of ways to see what customers think of you and your competitors. This can help you understand if there’s an opportunity to improve your service or develop something new that better answers customer needs.

6. Carry out a competitor SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Usually you’ll use a grid layout with space to write notes for each section. It’s an important part of writing a business plan, but a SWOT analysis can also be used to see how your competitors are performing based on your perceptions and market research.

 

Remember, competitor analysis is an ONGOING task within your business.  Be sure to make time regularly to carry it out.

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