Whether you’re a startup trying to break into the marketplace, a consultant trying to get results for your client, or an established company looking to cement your foothold against the competition, a well-researched competitive analysis gives you the tools you need to make strategic decisions.
The level of detail you include in each section of your competitive analysis report will vary depending on the stage of your business growth and your goals.
Starting with a pre-designed competitor analysis template, like the one below, takes almost all of the design work out of the mix so you can focus on the content (while still impressing your stakeholders).
If you take a look at the competitor analysis template below, you might notice that the designer has switched up the layout from page to page, but many of the other design elements are kept consistent.
Once you’ve identified your competitors, you’ll want to analyze their websites.
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To start, take a close look at the following items: Again, these are just to get you started.Note how each quadrant is paired with an icon: After summarizing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it’s time to look at the bigger picture.It’s time to figure out where every major competitor currently fits into the competitive landscape.Another approach is to focus on the things that provide the most value to the user, like in this competitor analysis example from Mint.It only includes ease of use, costs, and benefits: And as with any market research, it’s critical that you speak with real people who use your product and your competitors’ products.Here is an easy way to categorize sellers in your industry: As you conduct your research, keep things organized in a spreadsheet or database.To start, track the basics; name of store, location, mission statement (if they have one), product offering, strengths and weaknesses of their business, and category of competition.But if you’re a consultant or advisor struggling to get buy-in from skeptical stakeholders, the report below would be ideal.Covering everything from market forecasts to consumer profiles, it can help you get clients and decision-makers on board.That’s the only way to get an accurate picture of how your target customers rate the competition.In your report, you could arrange your SWOT analysis in a simple list, but it can be helpful to use color-coded quadrants, like the competitor analysis example below.