How can you find your real competitors?

Who are my competitors? This is a question you need to ask yourself all the time. If you’re competing locally, you have a clear idea of who your competitors are. Once you go global (and everyone does in a digital world), it’s way harder to know who they are.

Fortunately, creating a long list of your competitors is not that hard. Here are 5 tips to answer the question: Who are my competitors?

1.What Business Industry are you?

If you don’t know who you really are, where you are and where you are headed, chances of finding your competitors become slim. Ascertain the industry your business falls. Is it the financial, entertainment, fashion, food, health, mobile industry? Even these industries have niches, so don’t stop your research there. Go further by getting to know who your niche competitors are, it’ll help you shrink the long list and get the most vital information you require.

2.Review your product

It seems logic, but is harder than it looks. By analyzing your main product features, you will get a long list of competitors. Here the questions will be when to stop. Are you only going to focus on competitors that offer exactly the same? Or is one feature enough?

There is virtually nothing on the internet that big search engines like Google won’t dig out for you. And the truth is, just as you try to promote and market your business to reach more potential customer via the internet, your competitors also do the same. So rest assured that they have readily given detailed information about what they sell or the service they provide, hence making it easy for Google to trace them.

3.Your Customers Know Them

Take it or leave it, this is one amazing tip for conducting competitive analysis and how to get competitor pricing. You are most likely not the first in this business and neither will you be the last. So be certain that customers have real information about your competitors, what they offer, why they choose you over them, what they do that they think you should also do, among many other information. It is, in fact, one of the best and cheapest ways to know your competitors.

Use your sales team and customer succes team to gather the information.

Who are my competitors? Use your customers to find them

4.Even Your Suppliers Work with Them

One effective method of how to identify competitors for a small business is to reach out to suppliers or partners. If you are in an industry that requires suppliers of certain products, chances are they also work with your competitors. Have a good conversation with your suppliers; let them give you information about your competitors. Although your supplier will not give you confidential information, but be sure that you’ll get to know more about them and some manners they operate their business.

In a digital way, you can check out your suppliers website and take a deeper look at their use cases and testimonials. If you recognise similar elements as your case, chances are they’re working with your competitor as well.

5.Use your marketing team

Your competitors have a marketing team as well, that will probably work in similar ways as yours. If you’re using content marketing, take a look at your topics and compare SERP results (see who ranks higher on those keywords). Those who rank the highest, are your competitors as well (wikipedia not included of course).

Also social media, is one effective place to find the businesses that are trying to steal your customers. You’ll get to know the measures they are taking to attract and engage people, the latest trend in your industry, mistakes to avoid and necessary steps to take.

What is next?

Once you gathered a long-list, your task will be to organize the list until you have a workable list of competitors. Start by grouping them into small segments of competitors that are the same (same product features, same content strategy,…).

When they’re segmented, your analysis can begin! Creating competitive profiles of every company and start to gather information about them. Use these profiles to keep your competitors list up to date and remove ones that turn out to be in a different market, don’t exist anymore, …

Creating these profiles and segments is a tedious and time consuming work. See how you can do it systematically and automatically, allowing you to be spend your time on your business and customers!

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