The competitor analysis is part of the ABCD analysis. It allows you to map out the external environment of the company. Also known as ‘external analysis. ‘
“I Have No Competitors.”
We have heard this statement a thousand times. Entrepreneurs have told us that there is no competition for their ideas a thousand times, and we have contradicted them a thousand times.
Competition is not necessarily just around the corner. It is now global, globalized, and sometimes hidden within complex value chains whose complexity is challenging to unravel.
Step A: Identifying direct and indirect competitors
At this, it is helpful to think in terms of needs. Indeed, your product may be innovative and have no direct competitor. But there is also indirect competition. A match meets the same condition with a substantially different product or service. They are also known as alternative products and services.
To give a trivial example, you can quench your thirst with many drinks. An entrepreneur who brings a new drink to the market will have to fight against all other manufacturers, even if his glass is unique (we had such a situation in 2015).
Google Maps makes it easy to locate your competitors in a specific area. The display is also well suited to address the different areas where competition is concentrated. Below, you will find a short guide.
Another potent tool that comes from INSEE is ODIL. ODIL is a powerful interactive tool that allows you to list all your competitors based on a choice of activity on the one hand and a geographical area on the other. You must be familiar with the NAF codes and the concept of “care sin.” After all, to use ODIL, you must define the zone in which your company searches for its customers.
We strongly recommend that you distinguish between direct and indirect competition. Indeed, you can meet a customer’s needs differently, and it is not necessarily necessary to offer the same product to compete. The course below will help you understand the different “market levels.” This concept is essential because it determines how far you will analyze the competition. Do you stop at the central market and the direct competitors, or do you assume that the enclosing or generic markets offer valid alternatives to your offer?
Websites like KOMPASS (English) allow you to select your competitors based on different criteria. Remember that these lists come with a cost, so be sure to accurately describe your catchment area and the types of direct and indirect competitors.
Step B: Define the criteria of competitive analysis for your market research
Based on the collected data, it makes sense to make an initial assessment: Who are your biggest competitors who might give you a hard time in your direct market? Enter these competitors in an Excel table on the x-axis and the criteria to be evaluated on the y-axis. To determine your competitors, you need to consider the concept of the “catchment area.” It is the area where most customers come. If you want to begin a fast-food restaurant, there is no need to consider things outside a certain perimeter.
Then, there is the analysis based on Porter’s five forces, which gives you insight into the market’s competitive forces. It can also make sense to do mystery shopping to discover your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. The mystery shopping methods can be both a source of information about your competitors and a technique for evaluating the criteria.
In the example of an analysis grid for a fast-food company, the catchment area determines the number of competitors considered. The evaluation method is based on the market studies of HoReCa / CHR that we have conducted in the past.
Step C: Find information about your competitors
To conduct market research, you need information about your future competitors. Fortunately, this information is much more accessible than it was 20 years ago in the internet age. Your competitor’s website is a great playground where you can collect a lot of information. Much data is publicly available. Some companies offer to collect this information for you or even have it recorded, usually for a commission for searching and editing the data. It is then essential that the financial health of these companies is monitored based on official information. In Belgium, you can use Grayson, Data. Be. Contact us. In France, the CCI of the region concerned can be a good source of information. A third method is to introduce yourself as a customer to collect information. It is called mystery shopping.
Step D: Benchmarking (comparison with the competition)
The best way to analyze the competition is to create a comprehensive Excel file to enter your analyses.
In the columns, you indicate the factors to be analyzed (turnover, price, number of employees, type of customers, employees, geographical markets, and more specific criteria relevant to your study). You then assign a row to each identified competitor and populate the table’s cells.
The catchment area is an essential criterion for retailers and, generally, for all market research involving physical outlets. It is the geographic area where most of the customers come. This area is more or less important, depending on the type of outlet: from a few hundred yards for fast food to hundreds of miles for destination stores.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.