How do you find information on your competitors for your business plan?

Competitive Information

Well, if you're thinking about starting a business, you should already have a pretty good idea who you will be competing against. If not, open up your local yellow pages. If you will be competing on a national or international level (i.e. online business), then do an online search. Visit trade directories and association membership lists. Keep in mind that it is not enough to just simply list your competition. Research them thoroughly! What are their strengths and weaknesses? What marketing and promotional techniques do they use? Get financial data if available and find out the names and background of key management team members. This will help you to properly plan and execute various phases of your business plan.


If you can afford one, hire a Business Analyst, also known as a Competitive Analyst, Market Researcher, and others. The best place to start looking is at Mercyhurst College, the best school in the world for the training of intelligence analysts, including those that focus on business intelligence. As an internship is a requirement for graduating with an intelligence degree, offer minimum wage to the undergraduates and they will gladly accept the role. These students have a wide range of analytical tools that will come in handy to give your company a competitive advantage.