10 Tips to Research Your Competition

If you’re running a business, it’s crucial to stay informed about your competition.

Knowing what your competitors are up to can give you valuable insights and help you make strategic decisions that can give your business the edge it needs to thrive.

In this post, I’ll share some tips I’ve learned from years of experience in researching and analyzing my competitors.

I hope that these tips will help you gather the information you need to stay ahead of the game and make informed decisions about your business.

1. Identify Your Competitors

The first step in researching your competition is to identify who they are.

This might seem obvious, but it’s important to be thorough and make sure you have a complete list. Don’t just think about companies that offer similar products or services. Consider any business that could potentially be a threat to yours, whether that’s because they cater to the same target market or because they have a strong presence in your industry.

Once you have a list of potential competitors, do some digging to confirm that they are, in fact, competitors and not just businesses in a related field.

It’s also helpful to consider the size and scale of your competitors. Are they small, local businesses or large, multinational corporations? This information can give you a sense of the resources and capabilities they have at their disposal and how you might need to adjust your strategy to compete.

As you research your competitors, keep in mind that this is an ongoing process. Your list of competitors will likely change over time as new businesses enter the market and others exit. It’s important to stay vigilant and continuously update your list to ensure you have a clear and accurate understanding of your competitive landscape.

2. Analyze Their Online Presence

Now that you have a list of competitors, it’s time to start analyzing their online presence. This includes their website, social media accounts, and any other online channels they use to reach their audience.

As you do this, pay attention to the following:

  • The overall design and usability of their website
  • The types of products or services they offer
  • Any special features or unique selling points they highlight
  • The tone and messaging they use to communicate with their audience
  • Their level of engagement on social media and the types of content they post

Take note of anything that stands out to you and consider how it might be relevant to your own business. For example, if a competitor has a particularly strong social media presence, you might want to consider ramping up your own efforts in that area.

It’s also a good idea to set up Google Alerts for your competitors so you can stay informed of any news or updates related to their business. This can give you a heads-up on new products, promotions, or other developments that could impact your own business.

3. Evaluate Their Pricing Strategy

Pricing is a key factor in any business, and it’s important to have a good understanding of your competitor’s pricing strategy. This can help you determine how to position your own prices in the market.

To evaluate your competitors’ pricing strategy, consider the following:

  • What are they charging for their products or services?
  • Do they offer discounts or promotions? If so, how often and under what circumstances?
  • How do their prices compare to yours? Are they higher, lower, or about the same?
  • Are there any pricing trends or patterns that you can discern?

It’s important to approach this analysis objectively and avoid getting caught up in a “price war” with your competitors. Instead, focus on finding a pricing strategy that works for your business and meets the needs of your target market.

It can also be helpful to consider the value that your products or services offer. If you can demonstrate that your offerings are worth the price you’re charging, you’ll be in a better position to justify your prices to potential customers.

4. Assess Their Marketing Efforts

Marketing is an essential part of any business, and it’s important to understand the marketing efforts of your competitors. This can help you identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and reach your target audience more effectively.

To assess your competitors’ marketing efforts, here are some things you might want to look at:

  • What channels are they using to reach their audience? This could include social media, email marketing, paid advertising, or other methods.
  • What types of content are they creating and promoting? This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, or other types of content.
  • How are they positioning themselves in the market? What message are they trying to convey about their brand and what they offer?
  • Are they targeting a specific audience or demographic? If so, how does this compare to your own target audience?

By analyzing your competitors’ marketing efforts, you can gain valuable insights and ideas for your own strategy.

However, it’s important to avoid simply copying what your competitors are doing. Instead, use this information to inspire creative and effective marketing tactics that set your business apart.

5. Track Their Performance and Results

One of the most valuable things you can do to research your competition is to track their performance and results over time. This can give you a sense of how they’re doing in the market and how your own business compares.

There are a few different ways you can track your competitors’ performance.

  • Monitor their website and social media accounts for any updates or announcements related to their business. This can include things like new products, promotions, or partnerships.
  • Use tools like Google Analytics to track their website traffic and see how it compares to yours.
  • Check out online reviews and ratings for their products or services. This can give you a sense of how customers perceive their business and what they like (or don’t like) about it.

It’s important to remember that this is an ongoing process. By regularly checking in on your competitors, you can stay up-to-date on their performance and identify any trends or changes that might impact your own business.

As you track your competitors’ performance, be sure to also keep an eye on your own business. This can help you identify areas where you’re doing well and areas where you might need to improve.

6. Look for Partnerships and Collaborations

Another way to research your competition is to look for partnerships and collaborations they’ve established. These can give you valuable insights into their strategy and the types of businesses they’re interested in working with.

To find partnerships and collaborations, you can do the following:

  • Check out their website and also social media accounts for any announcements or mentions of partnerships or collaborations.
  • Search for news articles or press releases related to their partnerships.
  • Look for any events or conferences they’re attending or sponsoring. This can be a good indication that they’re interested in building relationships with other businesses.

Partnerships and collaborations can take many forms, from simple co-marketing agreements to more complex joint ventures. By keeping an eye on your competitors’ partnerships, you can get a sense of the types of businesses they might be interested in working with and potentially identify opportunities for your own business to form similar partnerships.

Keep in mind that partnerships and collaborations can be a double-edged sword. While they can bring benefits, they can also pose risks if they don’t align with your business goals or values. It’s important to carefully evaluate any potential partnerships to ensure they’re a good fit for your business.

7. Attend Industry Events and Conferences

Attending industry events and conferences is a great way to keep up with the latest developments in your field and get a sense of what your competitors are up to. These events can be a valuable source of information and a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry.

When attending an industry event, make sure to check this list:

  • Take advantage of any educational sessions or workshops that are relevant to your business. These can be a great way to learn new skills and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
  • Check out any exhibits or booths that your competitors have set up. This can give you a sense of their products or services and how they’re positioning themselves in the market.
  • Strike up conversations with other attendees, especially if they’re from competing businesses. You might be able to learn valuable insights or make connections that can benefit your business.

It’s important to keep in mind that industry events and conferences can be expensive, so be sure to carefully evaluate the potential benefits before committing to attend. If you do decide to go, be sure to make the most of the opportunity by taking advantage of all the available resources and networking opportunities.

8. Conduct Customer Research

Conducting customer research is a valuable way to learn more about your competition and how they’re perceived by their target audience. By talking to your own customers and those of your competitors, you can gain valuable insights into the market and how your business compares.

To conduct customer research, consider the following:

  • Ask your own customers for feedback on your products or services and how they compare to your competitors.
  • Reach out to customers of your competitors and ask for their thoughts on their products or services.
  • Use online review sites or forums to see what customers are saying about your competitors.

It’s important to approach customer research objectively and avoid being biased. Remember that the goal is to gather valuable insights and information, not to simply confirm your own beliefs or assumptions.

By conducting customer research, you can get a better understanding of what your competitors are doing well and where they might be falling short. This can help you identify areas where you can improve your own business and better meet the needs of your customers.

9. Consider Hiring a Competitive Intelligence Firm

If you have the resources, you might consider hiring a competitive intelligence firm to help you research your competition. These firms specialize in gathering and analyzing information about businesses in a particular industry and can provide valuable insights that can help you make strategic decisions.

There are a few things to consider when hiring a competitive intelligence firm:

  • Look for firms that specialize in your industry. This can ensure that they have the necessary expertise and knowledge to provide valuable insights.
  • Determine what level of support you need. Some firms offer full-service solutions that cover everything from gathering information to analyzing it and providing recommendations. Others offer more targeted services that focus on specific areas of research.
  • Consider your budget. Competitive intelligence can be expensive, so make sure to evaluate the potential return on investment before committing to a firm.

If you do decide to hire a competitive intelligence firm, be sure to clearly communicate your goals and objectives so they can tailor their services to meet your needs.

10. Keep an Eye on Emerging Competitors

Finally, it’s important to keep an eye out for emerging competitors who might enter your market. These could be startups or existing businesses that are expanding into new areas.

Here are some tips to stay informed about emerging competitors:

  • Set up Google Alerts for keywords related to your industry. This can help you stay informed of any news and updates related to businesses that might be entering your market.
  • Attend industry events and conferences and keep an eye out for any new players.
  • Monitor social media and online forums for any chatter about new businesses or products in your field.

Emerging competitors can be a significant threat to your business, so it’s important to stay vigilant and be prepared to adapt your strategy if necessary. By keeping an eye on emerging competitors, you can stay ahead of the game and be ready to respond to any new threats to your business.


Researching your competition is an essential part of running a successful business. By gathering and analyzing information about your competitors, you can gain very valuable insights that can help you make important decisions and stay ahead of the game.

If you follow the tips outlined in this post, you can effectively research your competition and use that information to your advantage.

Remember to approach this process objectively, stay vigilant, and be prepared to adapt as needed.

With the right approach, you can stay informed about your competition and make informed decisions that will help your business thrive.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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