The four-step competitor analysis
Knowing who you'll be up against before you start exporting will give you some valuable insights into your competitors' capability, giving you the opportunity to strategically position what your business has to offer.
The goals of a competitor analysis are to minimise direct competition either by choosing vulnerable competitors or by pitting strength against weaknesses. Use the four-step competitor analysis below to evaluate just how strong your competition is.
1. Work out who your competitors are
Your competitors will fall into three categories:
- Direct competitors are businesses that offer identical or similar products or services as you – to the same customers via the same market channels.
- Indirect competitors are businesses that offer products or services that are close substitutes. These competitors usually target your market with the same or similar value proposition – but deliver a different product.
- Future competitors are existing businesses that aren't in the marketplace yet – but could enter at any time.
2. Find out how your competitors operate
You'll learn valuable information about your competitors online. Tap into resources such as news articles, industry journals, analyst reports, the company's website, marketing collateral, and company reports.
You may need to commission your own professional industry-based research by visiting your export destination in person, or attending networking events and trade shows to collect data on your competitors.
Key points you'll need to know about your competitors:
- What is the nature of the business?
- What are its core strengths?
- What are its weaknesses?
- What are the competing product and/or services marketing strategies in terms of;
- scope, positioning and goals?
- purpose and functionality?
- target markets?
- market entry strategy?
- market share and level of sales?
- business rank among other competitors?
- sales volume?
- What types of packaging, presentation, advertising and promotion techniques do they use?
- What delivery methods do they use?
- What sort of after-service support do they provide, and how do they provide it?
3. Compare and see how you match up
Compare and contrast your competitor's business product and/or service with your own to understand where you're both positioned within the market. A comparative analysis will provide valuable insights for your strategic plan – and signal how much of a threat your competitors are likely to be.
4. Review and repeat
Review this analysis every 6-12 months to stay up-to-date with current and emerging competition.
Take the Go Global Self-Assessment
Here's a tip: Our Go Global export-readiness online self-assessment tool will identify your business's gaps in capabilities and recommend next steps to bridge those gaps. Whether you're seeking to enter new markets, or expand into existing markets, Go Global will show you how to get there.
- Our Access Program provides assistance for Victorian businesses planning to establish new export markets in key countries and regions
- Check out our case studies to discover how we've helped Victorian business owners tap into the global market
- Visit our regional insight pages to read the latest updates on key export markets from across the globe
- Austrade provides more information on how you can be export ready
- Agriculture Victoria or the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources provides valuable information about exporting live produce or agricultural products from Victoria
- Export Finance Australia (EFIC) provides a range of helpful resources:
- Export Council of Australia (ECA) have published an Australian Export Handbook providing a comprehensive guide to all of the practical aspects of managing an international business
- LaunchVic is an independent company funded by Victoria Government, providing business mentoring and support for Victorian entrepreneurs, including those looking to export.
- Asialink Business has developed a series of Country Starter Packs for Australian businesses looking to establish or expand their operations in Asia. You'll also find a series of case studies profiling how Australian businesses are successfully engaging with Asia
- Business Victoria provide a range of helpful resources such as;
- funded assistance to help businesses strategically identify, plan and meet their business goals
- mentoring through the Small Business Mentoring Program assist businesses in refining their business strategy, mapping out their direction, and setting goals for success