How Competitive information will help you in business
Books / / December 19, 2019
How to evaluate the competitors
- When there is a market, there are competitors - it is an indicator of demand.
- From successful competitors, you can learn a lot.
- Successful companies do not lack of strong competitors and the implementation of a strong competitive strategy in the attractive market.
Step 1. Understand who is to analyze
Before you apply the analysis tools, understand who exactly analyzed. Competitors in the first place is to consider those as well) solves the same problem as your project, and b) applies for the same money the same potential customers.
Step 2. to analyze
After compiling a list of competitors that can be replenished in the course of further analysis, it is necessary to work four key sources of information and to supplement it with something of additional tools as needed.
1. competitors' websites
The following information will be useful:
- Visitors and traffic sources. Often, this information can be accessed using SimilarWeb service.
- Keywords for which the site appears in organic search and which advances in contextual advertising. There will be a useful service and SEMrush SpyWords.
- Backlinks (sites that have a link to the site under analysis). On this issue specialized service LinkPad.
- Appearance, content (feature description, Offer, advantages and others) used services. This objective is achieved primarily by means of "manual" browsing and recording the necessary information. If you are good at html, then no harm will also look and site code.
If your competitors - this company or joint-stock company and a large part of their sales goes officially, look for their data tax reporting. For example, through the K-agent or similar services. Data to find a legal entity (name, VAT number or BIN) can be found on the website under "Contact" (if it exists) in the user agreement on the site (if it exists) or by contacting the company as a potential client.
You should be interested in news about competitors, analysis and interviews the founders / directors.
Use the keyword search to "Yandex" and Google (including in the "News" section), try as a combination of the competitors drive name with the words: investments, the volume of sales, presentation and other.
In addition to the search engines, try to search for internal media industry (eg, RUSBASE, when it comes to start-up projects), search in YouTube and base publications such Public.ru.
Also, the analysis may be subjected to social networks (that is written about your competitors and what they write themselves competitors). The analysis will be simplified with the use of special services, such Buzzsumo.com.
4. own experience
Personal experience - is the most useful tool that is often neglected.
Make some purchases from competitors and look at numbers of checks / receipts (as a rule, they consistent and, having made two purchases, you can figure out how many purchases were made in a given period time). When it comes to service, the serial numbers are often client accounts.
Chat with sellers. Many of them are easily ready to give any information which is owned.
If a competitor has a retail point - watch out for it: how many people pass by, how many sets, how much goes shopping, they go with what emotions and stuff.
5. additional sources
- Base startups. Sometimes track information on the competition can also be through the base of start-up projects: CrunchBase and CB Insights - scale projects for international and Rusbase base for Russian projects.
- Applying for a franchise. If someone from the competitors have their own franchise, be sure to ask them all the information and understand it.
- competitors presentation. If your competitors are performing at events, it is worth to visit them, or at least find a presentation of speeches.
- Interviews with industry experts and former employees of competitors.
- The most radical method - to get a job to a competitor.
Successful companies do not lack of competitors (it is rather a sign of limited market), and the implementation of a strong competitive strategy in the attractive market. Literate analysis competitors creates a magnificent and almost cost-free basis for the formation of such a strategy.
Step 3. Create a constantly updated competitor monitoring system
Monitoring of competitors is convenient to carry in the cloud table, filling in the key fields of the main players and create a regular business process of updating the table.
For example, the table "Netologii" includes the following information for each of the competitors business units:
- competitor name;
- weak spots;
- insider information;
- sales (volume and bulk sales funnel);
- product line (the direction of courses);
- format (online / intramural / blended), duration of training, schedule, availability of practice, the format and the quality of content;
- exchange partners;
- learning support (coordinators / mentors / automated, availability of individual trajectories, communication platform);
- ecosystem based on the content (access to update training, guest webinars / lectures / workshops, thematic mailing);
- rival media (blog, TG-channel community in the VC and FB);
- employment of students;
- the cost (price / average check, installment / credits, refunds, discounts for repeat purchases);
- the rate of the sales department response to a request for training;
- B2B areas / products.
How to use information about competitors
Competitor analysis before starting the business in the first place needs to ensure future product solid position in the market. To start-up can not only check out a number of competitors, but also severely beat them.
Head uses the information obtained during the assessment of the market, at every stage of start-up, start-up development and growth. Let us give just a few examples of such steps.
In order to assess whether there is a demand for similar products that are already on sale
Explore the existing analogues and similar ideas that have been implemented in your country and abroad, study them carefully history and results (sales volumes and received investments, valuation of businesses, the dynamics of the number of users, marginality). A separate important issue is to understand the sales volumes of the current market leaders. This creates an understanding of the current target market potential.
To determine the overall business development strategy
Begin by writing a brief but capacious description strategyIncluding mission, vision of the product, its value, and the result of using the basic functions, as well as information of potential users. Information about major competitors will help you understand what figures you should make a stop in determining strategy.
To calculate the unit project economics
Unit-economy (unit economics) - a composite index, which determines whether there is a financial sense to implement and scale the business model.
The objective of this stage - to predict these figures based on competitors' values, industry average, or their own experience and see how your business model is viable.
To make a financial plan
The aim of the financial plan at the stage of setting up a business - to identify and eliminate the unproven assumptions, to evaluate the prospects of the project, and also to show the expected business development picture for potential investors.
Information about competitors in the preparation of the financial plan helps to avoid the very untested assumptions. Baseline data should be taken from the price lists of suppliers and contractors, of the performance of competitors and personally carried out the tests.
To make an investment teaser and find an investor
Investment teaser (memorandum or request) - a document that provides a potential investor for the initial evaluation of investment attractiveness of the project.
The purpose of this document - to show that your business has a competitive advantage that can form the basis for a quick lesson substantial share interesting market.
The teaser should be:
- The list of competitors and compare them (with the release of the benefits of your offer in front of the competitors offer).
- Competitive analysis: number of customers, sales, attracted investment rounds.
To build a customer acquisition system
At this stage of the competition and the study of their experience of successful marketing to your audience, especially important. It can be any product with a similar decision-making process.
After all, to define the instruments to attract the audience you need to understand:
- Where your target customers usually spend their time (offline and online)?
- Where your target customers usually get their information?
- What they usually do before a choice?
- Where are moving successful brands targeted to this audience?
Maxim Spiridonov - a businessman with two decades of experience and CEO of the educational holding "Netologiya groups." Vyacheslav Makovich - co-founder of venture capital firm AAA Trust and Agency SLV maker of personal branding. Together they wrote the book "Startup per billion", which explain what Digital business is different from other businesses, dismantle popular mistakes novice entrepreneurs and give practical advice on how they to avoid.
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