Whether your business is a small business or global organization and regardless of your business and industry your business operates in a competitive market. Your competitors are trying to get more business just like you try to compete with them. Business Competitors are very important for consideration in creating your business strategy. Your business does not operate in vacuum so identifying your business competitors and understanding their business strategy, culture, approaches, tactics - simply the way they do business is critical for your business success.
Your first task is identifying your business competitors - of course you will start with a list of your top 5 direct competitors which are your direct competition and after that you will need to consider your indirect business competitors. Generally direct competitors offer similar products and services to your target market and compete directly with you in the marketplace. On the other hand indirect competitors may not compete directly with your business but they offer substitute products and services to the same customer base - your target market. By simply analyzing your business competitors and their growth and strategy over the last 1-3 years you can understand a lot about their way of doing business and their strategy and goals. The trend that they have achieved whether it is a positive or negative trend can predict the near future. You need to focus on identifying your business competitors' weaknesses and strengths and figure out what is the best strategy for you - how you will need to position your business in the marketplace in order to be more competitive. You can profit on your competitors' weaknesses and avoid competing directly with competitors on their strengths.
How to learn more about your Business Competitors? (1) Interviews: You can learn more about your business competitors through interviews with your employees and your customers. Interviews are very successful when it comes to identifying your competitors. (2) Surveys: You may use surveys if you want to gather information from many people - again you would like to survey both your customers and your employees. Employees who work directly with your customers as well as employees who work directly with your suppliers are very important. (3) Former Employees: Many companies hire former employees who have worked for their competitors. They can give you more specific information about your business competitors. (4) Public Information: Use public information as well as industry research and statistics to learn more about your business competitors. Once you gather all the information you need - start your competitive analysis. Rank your business competitors based on what is most important for your business strategy and identify their trends and strategies. Next focus on identifying your best business strategy - how to avoid some competitors and how to compete directly with other competitors.