Most of the new entrepreneurs are so excited that they forget to check the market for their competitors before they get into the market. Knowing and understanding your competitors is what makes your business to stand out in the crowd. Here are few steps to know your competitors:

Step1: Understand your business

Yes! You heard me right, understanding your business completely is the first step to find your competitors. Without knowing what your business is all about, you won’t be able to find your competitors. Now get ready and answer the below points one by one

A. Nature of your business

Write down a brief about your business nature. What do you sell/ what service you provide?

B. Strengths and weakness.

What are your strengths and weakness of your business (i.e what do you think that are your strengths and weakness make it simple points) below is an example

Strengths: Highly skilled and experienced in the field.

Weakness: Low business capital

C. Finding your target market

To whom you are planning to target your product or service. Try to be more specific here as this step is the one which will help you a lot in finding your competitors specifically,

Eg:

  • Small business in Bangalore
  • Recent startups in Bangalore
  • Children aged between 7 to 15

Step 2: Searching your competitors

Now you know your business it will be easy for you to search for your competitors. You can start googling for similar service provider as you are. Example of an ecommerce business selling pet products. In this case the competitors you are going to include are the one who is targeting the same population of people as you are. Example Bangalore(target market).

Once you find the competitors start listing them out one by one. Use a excel spreadsheet for this so that it will be easy for you to compare the competitors.

Step 3: Segregate them

From the list segregate the ones with the good reviews and the ones with the bad reviews online. You can use the social media sites such as Facebook and Google+ reviews to find the reviews.  List the star rating out of 5 in a separate column next to their name. The ones with the high star rating should be a tuff competition.

Step 4: Learn form the competitors

Now take a look at their positive reviews, find what made them so special to the customer that they have rated them high. Note down the points.

Most importantly look at their negative reviews because you don’t want to do the same miss as your competitors. Do the same for all the competitors.

Also go to their websites if they have one and spend some time browsing it. This will give you a clear idea what their customers are currently experiencing in the market and what you can do to improve it.

Step 5: Compare them

Lets us find what are their strengths and weakness based on the reviews. Also don’t forget to add up your views on their services. Compile the points and make it into one table of strengths and weakness. Remove the duplicate points and highlight them so you know which point has more importance.

Now that you have your and your competitor’s strengths and weakness you shall compare them with each other.

Note down the points which they have and you don’t have. Make the points which you have and others don’t have as your competitive advantage.

Step 6: The cost

Last but not the least the cost of the service or the products this makes an effective difference in the market. Compare the level of services each of them gives for the cost they charge. You cannot charge more than the competitors unless you have something very unique and special that adds value to the customers.

Make the difference

Now you know your competitors (their strengths and weakness) and your customer’s pain points you can improve your service and make a difference in the market. All the best for your Startup.

Manoj Mahendran
I am Manoj Mahendran who will be an entrepreneur soon, currently serving Market research industry. To add to that, I am an amateur photographer, blogger and a travel enthusiast. Click here to read more of my work