Getting your hands on useful business intelligence
As a small business owner, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision and operate day-to-day with the sole vision of running your company. It’s great to have this precise level of focus as it allows you to monitor every aspect of your business to ensure things are up to par. But there are factors outside of your business that affect its success – namely your competitors.
Their presence in the market plays a part in your revenue gains and the growth of your customer base. Large firms are often able to gain competitor intelligence through a market research firm; for smaller businesses, the SBA offers its free SizeUp widget, serving as your binoculars into the competition’s backyard.
How the SizeUp tool works
Users come to the SizeUp web page and enter their city and industry (e.g., manufacturing, real estate, etc.) After inputting this information, the widget pulls up the top three industry competitors in your area. The listing provides a break-down of employee salary, years in the business, and past revenue reports. It even spins up a Google map with markers showing the location of your top three competitors, as well as a separate map showing the locations of neighborhoods with the highest grossing revenue streams. In order to see this information for more than the top three vendors, users have to register with an email address and password.
The fact that a tool like this exists for small business owners is incredible. It’s not often that business owners are able to gain intelligence about their competitors without spending a large chunk of change to do so. By utilizing this offering from the SBA, you can gain a near 360-degree view of the industry within your city and develop a strategy to bring your business to a level on par with your competitors. Even if your business is performing well, it never hurts to do a status check on what similar companies are doing; this research strengthens your business further grounds your stake in the market.
Quick tour of SizeUp: