How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis in 4 Simple Steps – Mark Collier, Small Business Development Center

On this edition of the Atlanta Small Business Show, we caught up with Mark Collier, Business Consultant at the UGA Small Business Development Center in Dekalb County, one of 17 centers around the state that provides support to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Jim and Mark discussed the four critical steps in conducting a thoughtful and valuable competitive analysis.

competitive analysisAccording to Mark, every small business should conduct competitive analysis research to determine who their competitors are, how they will attack the marketplace, and how they will differentiate their business in order to gain more market share. For business owners and entrepreneurs, Mark recommends doing the following four steps as thoroughly as possible.

  1. Examine Competitive Positioning: The foundation for your entire business. Analyze how you’re going to compete, who your market is, how you are going to market to them, and the value of your good or service.
  2. Profile Your Market: Document the size of your market. Also, take note of how your competitors are positioned in the market. and how they bring value to your customer base.
  3. Evaluate Your Competition: Make sure to include all competitors that solve your customers’ pain points.
  4. Define Your Value Proposition: This is the value that you bring to the marketplace and there are typically three general platforms of market competition:
      1. Low Price
      2. Differentiation
      3. Quick Response

SBDC Competitive Analysis Tool: The UGA SBDC also has a 12-step tool that takes a deep dive into your business’s individual competitive analysis. Mark suggests utilizing this tool, as well as immersing yourself in the market from a consumer’s perspective as well.

To hear more insight and expertise from Mark, be sure to watch our full interview above, and don’t forget to check out our last interview with Mark, all about business planning.


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