Is Entrepreneurship for
Multilevel Marketing Plans
SBA Financing Programs
for a loan
Personal vs. Business
Marketing Research Process
- Business takes place in a highly
competitive, volatile environment, so it is important to understand the
competition. Questions like these can help:
- Who are your five nearest direct competitors?
- Who are your indirect competitors?
- Is their business growing, steady, or declining?
- What can you learn from their operations or from their
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How does their product or service differ from yours?
Start a file on each of your competitors including advertising,
promotional materials, and pricing strategies. Review these files
periodically, determining how often they advertise, sponsor promotions,
and offer sales. Study the copy used in the advertising and promotional
materials, and their sales strategies.
What to address in your competitor
- Names of competitors - List all of your current
competitors and research any that might enter the market during the
- Summary of each competitor's products - This
should include location, quality, advertising, staff, distribution
methods, promotional strategies, customer service, etc.
- Competitors' strengths and weaknesses - List
their strengths and weaknesses from the customer's viewpoint. State
how you will capitalize on their weaknesses and meet the challenges
represented by their strengths.
- Competitors' strategies and objectives - This
information might be easily obtained by getting a copy of their
annual report. It might take analysis of many information sources to
understand competitors' strategies and objectives.
- Strength of the market - Is the market for your
product growing sufficiently so there are enough customers for all
Ideas for gathering
- Internet - The internet is a powerful tool for
finding information on a variety of topics.
- Personal visits - If possible, visit your
competitors' locations. Observe how employees interact with
customers. What do their premises look like? How are their products
displayed and priced?
- Talk to customers - Your sales staff is in
regular contact with customers and prospects, as is your
competition. Learn what your customers and prospects are saying
about your competitors.
- Competitors' ads - Analyze competitors' ads to
learn about their target audience, market position, product
features, and benefits, prices, etc.
- Speeches or presentations - Attend speeches or
presentations made by representatives of your competitors.
- Trade show displays - View your competitor's
display from a potential customer's point of view. What does their
display say about the company? Observing which specific trade shows
or industry events competitors attend provides information on their
marketing strategy and target market.
- Written sources:
General business publications
Marketing and advertising publications
Local newspapers and business journals
Industry and trade association publications
Industry research and surveys
Computer databases (available at many public libraries)
- Government Sources such as Matthew
Lesko's free money and government