Knowing your business competitors is the first thing to do to grow your business. Every business has competition: some may have cutthroat while the others may have mild.

Well, to streak ahead in the race of competition, it is essential what you can offer in a unique and better way than your competitors, and this you can do after knowing who exactly your competitors are.

Types of competitors

There are three types of competitors: Direct, indirect, and replacement.

  • Direct competitors are those who are offering the same kind of products on the market. These are those competitors that flash across your mind first when you think about your competition. You and your direct competitors will have the same audience. McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Dominos are direct competitors. If your audience buys products and services from your direct competitor, they will not buy from you and vice versa.
  • Indirect competitors are those who are on the market to solve the same problem but with different types of products and services. For instance, Subway and Spudulike are fast food restaurant companies, but they both have an entirely different menu. Both the companies aim at solving the same problem – providing you with quick and scrumptious food to feed your hunger.
  • Unlike indirect competitors, replacement competitor will not be in the same category though they will solve the same problem as you do. A coffee shop and a restaurant in the same neighbourhood can be replacement competitor. The most dangerous competition is replacement competition because it offers many alternatives to solve the same problem. However, there are still some ways to identify the competition.

Tips to identify the competition

There are some ways to uncover hidden competition, like keeping an eye on social media mentions or getting feedback from customers. Here are some practical ways you can follow:

· Do some Google

The first thing and perhaps the easiest way to identify your competition is to think of a couple of keywords that users can use to find your business. These keywords may revolve around the product or service you are offering, location, and so on.

With the help of these keywords, you can get to know your competitor. You can get thousands of results, but the most relevant competitors are those who show up on the first page, and they all will more likely be direct competitors.

· Research targeted keywords

Finding the level of direct competition will not be enough. It is crucial to know indirect competitor. You should search target keywords that you will use to identify other businesses in the same industry.

For instance, if you type fast-food Company in the search bar, both Subway and Spudulike can show up. They both are indirect competitors but solve the same pain points.

· Do market research

The next thing you need to do is to market research. Note that knowing your direct and indirect competitors is not enough to ensure that you will make your business successful.

You should do some market research to know how your competitors are actually pitching their clients, what their targeted audience thinks about them, and you can also track their social media conversation.

To find the relevant conversation, you need to enter the business name in the search bar of a particular social media platform.

This is a great way to know how your competitors are able to get along with their target audience. Then you can come up with a strategy on how you can do better than your competitors to ensure that your audience does not leave you to buy products or services from them.

· Ask your customers

Customers know your competitors better than you do; therefore, you should not miss a chance to ask for feedback from them. You should try to ask them whether they like your product or service or not. Further, you can collect feedback in comparison to your competitor.

You can ask them to rate your service compared to your competitors. This will help you know how your competitors are doing well. You can find out where they are doing better than you and what you need to improve so you can provide your customers with a better experience.

You can conduct online and offline surveys. However, it will require you to spend some money if you have decided to collect feedback through offline mode.

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The bottom line

Every business has competition, and if you want to ride out you will have to identify your competitors and come up with a strong strategy.