As an entrepreneur, you have to be aware of your competitors all the time. This is especially true during the fundraising process. Investors will want to discuss the competition scene with you, and there is nothing more embarrassing than finding out about a new competitor from a potential investor.
This is why it is critical to conduct thorough competition research before meeting investors and pitching your startup. This includes who your competitors are, the competition scene, and every publicly available detail about the competitors.
The aim of this article is to guide you through the first step: who are the competitors? We will show you a few ways to find and name them, allowing you to further investigate their companies.
Scouting for Competitors
1. Google as if you’re a customer trying to find your product
What would your ideal customer google to find your product? Use these keywords and check on the results.
Searching with keywords relevant to your product will let you know your most direct competitors. These competitors compete with you even on page ranking. More importantly, they’re available beside you in the search results and your potential customer will be choosing between your company and theirs.
2. Make further research
Make more research on the industry. Look for industry reports and experts’ opinions.
Both sources will help you understand the shape of the market and might mention some competitors. Note that the companies they mention by name are considered under their radar. That is, these are companies that went big enough for experts to notice and mention them.
3. Search in Crunchbase database
Crunchbase’s database covers a huge number of startups. It will help you look for competitors by keywords, country, region, and industry datasets. You can utilize it and look for competitors beyond your target market since these companies might expand and compete with you over market share.
4. Search in Quora and Reddit
Both Quora and Reddit are great sources for finding competition. Just like tip #1, search for keywords relevant to your product like you’re a customer and check the answers.
5. Talking to potential customers
Customers can name competitors straight to your face! They may even talk about their impression of them v.s. you.
Initiate the conversation with customers either through a call or survey. You might be surprised by how much research they did on your product. They will help you view competition from another perspective.