Please note: the sound on this recording is a little low, you may wish to listen through headphones.

Finally, we need to note down a little about our Competition. 

Start by finding all your competitors. Consider those who may nab your customers, even if they seemingly offer something a bit different. 

Consider: 

  • Geographical competitors 
  • Online competition 
  • Side-hustlers who are doing what you do well on the side of their other jobs – and doing it cheaper
  • Business who sell a do-it-yourself model of what you do – this could range from flat pack items to online training

From that list, pick your 3 top competitors. These are the 3 who are using a business model closest to the one you will be using, including pricing, or geographical area, or market focus – as well as the features and functions of your products or services. 

Once you have those competitors pinned down, make a note of the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Consider: 

  1. Length established: Depending on your industry a business established for many years may or may not be a strength. A cell phone store established in 2000 and still selling majority Blackberries may not be a good option in 2020, for example. Alternatively a construction company who have been building houses for over 20 years has an air of dependability a home owner may be looking for. 
  2. Brand: Does the competitor sell known brands that potential customers will recognize and are popular? Is the competitor’s own brand story one that will appeal to your potential market? 
  3. Is the overall Reputation of the competitor positive or negative? Why do you think that is?
  4. Customer service levels: Does the competitor have after sale follow up? Do they have regular and helpful opening hours? Do they have a website or social media that gives good, helpful information? Are they polite and welcoming on the phone and in the store? 
  5. What Geographical areas do they serve? Are they based in a location that works well in terms of parking, access to passing trade, on a bus route, etc?
  6. Product range: Do they over a range of products or do they specialize?
  7. Do they serve a particular Market or Market Niche? Is it the same as yours or are their differences?
  8. Price point: Cheaper than your planned pricing or more expensive? What is the reason they are different? 

Once you’ve established a list of strengths and weaknesses for your top competitors, think about how you will address those strengths and take advantage of those weaknesses with your own business. What can you do the same? What can you do different? 

When you move on to developing your marketing strategy, it will be extremely useful to have gone through this exercise. 

You may even be asked about your competition if you are approaching a financial institution for support. Doing this research demonstrates a commitment to your business an investor will want to see to take your request seriously.

We have one more aspect of creating your business vision to look at, and then will wrap up. 

See you in the next video where we’ll look at typical mistakes first time entrepreneurs tend to make when creating their business vision.

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