As you go on the journey of entrepreneurship, it’s important to be able to tell who your competitors are. It’s not about creating competition by trying to destroy or undermine them, but rather learning what makes them unique and how that can benefit you. 

A legitimate competitor will have big advertising budgets, an aggressive media campaign, and lots of resources at their disposal. 

They’re likely operating in a market that is populated with plenty of other businesses just like 

theirs. Here at has some more ways to identify your competitors.

The first and most obvious way to identify your competitors is by looking at the market and the industry. Where does your company or product fit within? Are you focusing on a specific niche, or trying to disrupt an entire industry? Are there similar products available in the market that might give you some competition? If you’re unsure, ask your co-workers or friends for their opinion.

Another great way to identify competitors is by doing a competitive analysis of yourself. What makes you different from others? It’s not enough to be better than your competition, you also need to be different.

The final and most difficult way is to look at their financial statements and compare them to yours. Decide if there are any assets that you may want to keep. If possible, look at how much they’re spending on advertising, and come up with a plan of attack if their numbers are beginning to look unhealthy.

Try thinking about which companies would be considered your competition based on these five points: 

three men sitting while using laptops and watching man beside whiteboard

1) They sell the same type of product or service as you do.

You wouldn’t call a clothing designer who makes coats “competition.” But if he has a line of boots, you might. It could be because each line complements each other or because you can develop an audience for both lines. 

You should also consider whether the product or service is complementary to yours. For example, if you make custom-made clothes for children, another designer might be selling preschool wear. If she does, then she’s your competition.

2) They are in the same industry as you are.

When trying to determine who your competitors are, think about your industry’s landscape and what companies are in that area. 

For example, if you are in the home-improvement industry, you might want to check out companies that are listed in business directories. If they are doing different things than you are, they are probably competitors. 

This is true whether they provide the same type of service or not. Also think about whether there are other companies in your area that specialize in something related to your industry. For example, if you’re a plumber and your competitors offer plumbing services for renters, then you’re probably competing with them.

3) They have similar owner-entrepreneur characteristics to yours

If all else fails, look at owner-entrepreneurs who have similar characteristics to yours. You can use online databases like to learn about public figures’ leadership behaviors. 

For example, if a famous entertainer has a daughter who is launching a fashion boutique, that celebrity is more likely to have a daughter who has ideas for a clothing line. If she’s young, works in the entertainment industry, and happens to be creating her own line of clothing for teenagers, she could be your competition.

4) They have similar customer demographics as you do

If you’re creating merchandise or services targeted toward women around the ages of 20-24, you might want to look at the demographics of mommy bloggers. Their blogs are probably filled with young mothers sharing similar topics about their children and families while shopping on Facebook or interacting on Twitter. 

If you create content, like articles or subscriptions for online magazines, make sure to consider the blogs that share the same customer demographics as you do. By doing so, you expand your audience.

5) They are located in your area or have a location nearby

Competition is easy to spot if they are only a few minutes down the road from you. Sometimes this isn’t necessary, though. Simply thinking about how they market their products might help you think about how to be more effective with yours. It’s helpful to think of competition as more of a learning experience than trying to overpower someone else’s business or reputation.

Each of these are pieces to the puzzle that will help you figure out who your competitors are. When it comes to competition, the focus should be on learning rather than trying to undermine someone else. 

After all, in order to grow in business, you’ll have to learn how to take your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

If this article is helpful for you or gives you some ideas to think about, please share with your friends or colleagues by pressing one of the social media buttons below. 

Thanks again! 

As usual, if this article is helpful for you or gives you some ideas to think about, please share with your friends or colleagues by pressing one of the social media buttons below.


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