Before you even start your business, it’s important to know who your potential competition will be. There are several ways in which you can identify competitors and soak in knowledge from their examples.
Do a Google search
Search for your business idea and location on google and see what comes up. Read articles, reviews, and anything else you can find on what your competition has been up to. Think about what makes their business newsworthy and how you can do that yourself so you’ll be showing up next in google searches.
Find your competitors websites and take in the look and feel of them. Pull ideas on what attracts you and what doesn’t as you start to plan your own internet presence.
Sign up for their email list(s)
Staying aware of what your competitors are up to can help give you a leg up. Pay attention to how often they email, and what they’re sharing with their audience. This can help you build plans as you start your own email lists.
Scour social media
Pay attention to what your competition is up to on social media. How strong are they on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, SnapChat, ect. What are they doing to engage their audience and what can you learn from that as you plan your own social media strategy? Is there a social platform where you can excel where your competition is lacking?
Visit brick and mortar locations
Whether your business is a store, event, or something more abstract, there is often some sort of physical location associated with your trade that you can visit to get your create juices flowing. While visiting, take a look at their branding, customers, and the little “icing on the cake” items that help make their brand stand out. See how you can apply these concepts to your own ideas and give a physical presence your own spin. Can’t find an actual “location” for your type of business? Check out local meetups in your field and meet other people working on similar projects.
Ask your own client base
People who you see as potential client base can be a great resource on competition. Who are they currently using for X service? What do they like about them? What could be improved? This can give you valuable insight as you start to make plans on how to distinguish your place in the market.
Once you’ve had a chance to thoroughly identify competitors from several angles, you can better identify their overall strengths and weaknesses. This will help you as you plan your business strategy, giving you a chance to start out from a place where you can stand out immediately instead of fit in like just another option in a sea of choices.