Rank Your Competitors Worksheet
How does your small business stack up against your competition? Find out by using this competitor rankings worksheet.
You can use the worksheet to research three (or more) competitors and compare them to your small business. You’ll choose five categories (according to the criteria that your target market uses when choosing a business), and give yourself and the competing businesses scores of 0 to 10, 10 being the highest.
Once you’ve completed your competitor research, you can total the scores and see if there’s enough separation between you and your competitors. You can also identify areas in which you might want or need to raise your own scores.
If you haven’t started your small business yet, you can use this worksheet to find out how much competition you’ll face and to devise ways to differentiate your products and services.
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How To Rank Your Competitors
Jennifer Croft Comments
I try not to spend too much time or energy obsessing about what my competitors are doing and/or reacting to it. But I think it is worth taking the time, every once in awhile, to see what’s out there, and here’s why…
When I teach marketing classes in person and watch students fill out this worksheet, the results are amazing. For starters, I have a student fill out the categories that he or she thinks clients or customers care about the most. Then, I have the other students say what they would care about, if they were looking for that type of business, product, or service.
The disconnect, between what the student who is the business owner thinks and what the students who are the “potential clients or customers” think is often stark. For example, an accountant might believe that people care about education and experience. But the students speak up and say they want “someone who can explain things to them” and “quick responses to their e-mails” and “an accountant who won’t judge them if they’re behind on their taxes.”
The other interesting thing I often see happen is that students quickly find out that there’s little or no difference between their overall score and the overall scores of their competitors, which is concerning. Similar scores mean that there’s no compelling reason for customers or clients to choose one business over another, which, in marketing terms, is the kiss of death. Marketing is based on differentiation – not what you do that’s the same as everyone else, but what you do that’s different. If you encounter this situation after you fill out the competitor worksheet, go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to raise your scores and/or come up with something distinctive that will separate you from the pack.