10 Things Franchisees Should Know About Their Competitors
by Ed Teixeira
Market analysis is a means of gathering important information about your
market competitors. It gives you insight into the quality and techniques of
your competitors and enables you to understand your market conditions. When
you analyze your competitors, indentify the similarities and differences
between their products or services and yours. When youíve identified key
characteristics of your competitors you can establish a plan to compete. For
example, you may lower certain prices, offer better service, advertise, use
special promotions or add to your product line or services.
You should collect the following information:
- Who are your competitors?
- Where are they located?
- What products or services do they offer?
- What is their pricing
- Estimated revenue?
- Do they advertise? Where?
- How do they market? (Informational sessions, direct
- What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of
- What type of equipment and software are they using?
- Review competitorsí websites, literature, and marketing materials Ė
how do they present themselves to the market; are they a professional
Sources of Information:
On-Site: Make visits to your competitors or shop them for services and
pricing. You can you use your employees or friends to do competitive checks.
Internet: The Internet can be a great source of information. Enter
the competitorís name in search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, etc.) and
check out the results of the search. The Internet can give you an overview
of your competitorís services, products, and maybe even prices and referral
sources. You can gather this information without having to leave your
computer. Information is available from the Federal Commerce Department
online or in the library. You can review Edgar Online and business websites
to obtain required financial filings. Look for an industry trade association
and industry publications. Go to Hoovers Online or Baconís to look for
business publications in your industry.
Competitor: During your research of your marketplace, you can gather
information from competitors that provides you with insight on what makes
them successful (or not!).
Networking: Join community and civic groups. Itís a great way
to network and meet other business people (maybe even a competitor or two).
Determine the business in the market that could be future referral sources
After the information has been collected and your competitive research
completed, you will be able to describe your competitors and their strengths
and weaknesses. You should know what is different about your business and
why customers will choose you rather than your competitorsí. You should also
be able to describe your target market and target customer and what will
motivate them to purchase your product. This process should help you gain
and maintain a competitive advantage
© 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC
Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC.
He can be reached at