Rival Research

To understand how to position your business, you first should research your competition. This may seem like common sense, however, you may not be seeing the full picture.

We've put together a free downloadable template for identifying your competition. You are welcome to download it and get started right away if you are ready.

If you'd like a bit more information, consider the following:

  • Direct Competition - is essentially any venture selling the same or similar products and/or services as your company. Direct competition is usually easy to identify. Think of the industry your business is entering. What are the first 3 to 5 companies that come to mind? Those are usually the big players that will be your direct competition.

  • Indirect Competition - is any company that could take customers / sales away from you. They may have an offering that is dissimilar to yours, but customers could use in place of your offering. Perhaps they are just a geographically distant venture (in another country or territory) that is not yet in your current market. Perhaps they are a combination of both. These are your indirect competitors and they can be a bit trickier to identify simply because finding information on them may not be as accessible.

After you've identified your competition, you can start to analyze them. You can get really detailed if you have the time and budget, but I'm going recommend several items.

  • What are the biggest issues of your direct competitors? - In other words, what aren't they doing well? Depending on the competitor, it may range from one to many issues.

  • What are the strongest advantages of your indirect competitors? - What is giving them an advantage to take your sales and customers away from you? Again, each competitor may be excelling at one or many things.

  • What gaps exist between your Direct and Indirect competitors? - What opportunities have not been fully realized by either set of competitors? These gaps deserve your focus and energy because they can lead to amazing growth and reward for your business.

  • How will you differentiate your company from all of your competitors? - What is unique about your business or approach to doing business that will draw customers and sales to your door? You need to be specific and never allow your focus to deviate because of what a competitor is doing.

  • What are your next steps? - How are you going to adjust your business or double down on your current approach? You need to take action. Knowing what your competition is doing is great. But you need to leap into action to separate yourself out from your pack of competitors.

An important step is documenting this information so you can refer back to it often, so download our free template and get started. This isn't intended to be a complete solution for documenting your competition, rather a good starting place. We welcome feedback and questions about the document.