Understand and assess your competitive environment

Whether you're starting up or running an established business, or trying to make your company seem attractive to prospective buyers, it's important to know your competition.

Start by scanning the yellow pages and searching online to find out who your competitors are. Consider breaking your competition into categories based on what they offer, and identify your main competitors in each category. Ranking your competitors can also be helpful in terms of market share, from those you think do the most business, to those how do the least.

At a Glance

Market Share = Company's Sales/Total Market Sales

Identify Your Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Consider factors such as price, customer service, location, reputation, and the range of products or services they offer.
  • Which of your competitors' weaknesses can you improve upon?
  • How might your competitors use their strength to try to suppress you in the marketplace, and how can you protect your business against them?

Beware of the temptation to suggest your company has no competition. Even if you're introducing something completely new to the market, your potential customers are currently satisfying their need in some other way.

Your Roadmap to Success

Our interactive business planning tool will set your business on the road to success.

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