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10 competitive analysis questions you should answer before launching a business

Before launching your business, you should conduct a cometitive analysis to gain intimate knowledge of your competitors.

To find it, you must conduct an in-depth research of their product and service offerings, strengths and weaknesses, and other aspects of their business.

At the core of this analysis are 10 key competitive analysis questions you should answer before launching your business. 

#1 Who are my primary competitors?

Your primary competitors are businesses offering similar products or services and serving the same audience. List the top 5 to 10 competitors in your niche currently vying for your target audience’s attention.

#2 What products or services do they offer?

After you identify your primary competitors, the next step is to create a spreadsheet that lists each competitor`s products and services. Also, include any standout features and note the customer benefit or value that these features provide.

#3 How does my product or service offering compare?

Once you have a list of the products and services provided by the competition, compare your offering to theirs to identify gaps in your offering, where you need to improve, and the areas where you’re better or different.

#4 Do they provide additional value?

Customers don’t make purchasing decisions solely on products and services. They also look at extra value add-ons, like 24/7 live customer support, a lifetime warranty, post-purchase consultations, or free educational content such as courses or blogs. 

Now review the products and services you are offering to ensure they have the type of value your target audience wants and expects.

#5 What’s their unique value proposition?

Most businesses (the smart ones) have a unique value proposition (UVP). 

Such as a positioning statement, usually displayed on a website homepage, highlighting the differentiating benefit (value) the business provides to its customers over the competition. You will need UVP that sets your brand apart to stand out from your competitors.

#6 What are their primary marketing channels?

Where are your competitors focusing their marketing efforts? 

The answers will help you devise your marketing plan and strategy and help you uncover marketing opportunities that your competitors aren`t using. 

You can use tools like SEMRUSH to research your competitors’ marketing channels and strategies.

#7 What are customers saying about them?

Today it’s easy to know what customers say about your competition by reading reviews. 

From reviews, you`ll discover what customers love and hate about your competitors and their products and services. You can then use this information to improve or differentiate your product or service offering.

#8 How do they price their products or services?

Knowing your competitors’ price points will help you position your pricing strategy to ensure you’re competitive and profitable. When reviewing price points, take note of the services, features, and extras in their packages.

#9 What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Now that you have answers to your competitor analysis questions, you can map your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses across the above areas – pricing, product offering, marketing channels, etc. 

Once mapped, you`ll have the answer to the final and most important question.

#10 Where can I differentiate?

Look at your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and ask what you can do better or differently in each area. 

You aim to determine where in your business, product, or service you can add extra audience value and benefits to help you stand out.

Over to you

The better you know your competitor, the greater your chance of getting ahead of them and stake your claim in the market. 

Competitor analysis takes time; however, when you make an effort, you’ll have an instant advantage when starting your business.

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