Discover your competitor’s revenue contributor products.
Depending on the startup business model, companies may offer a few products but not all products generate the same amount of revenue. For Example, Microsoft has dozens of products but non of them generate revenue as much as Microsoft office does.
How do I know?
Go to the blog section and look for Sales strategy because in this Case study, I’ve explained every strategy I’ve implemented to helped Microsoft increase their revenue by239% in 3 months.
Now, to find the revenue contributors you can use free tools like this link on Wikipedia, which is updated every day. You should list down your players and sort them based on their total revenue.
Then, find out top 3 products that generate the highest revenue for them. You can figure this out by considering many factors such as :
The number of subscribers your competitor has,
Number of applications installed by users,
How many of users they acquire per year,
Number of companies they serve,
If you want to search broader, you can use Fortune 500 website. Simply search for company’s name and filter your search results based on years. You’ll find out amazing market results. If you could not find the revenue of your competitor in those tools, try to search for:
Their published interviews,
Forums that their employees are active on
You can use social engineering technique and ask their sales people.
That costs you only a coffee or a beer.
Although being precise is the key, at this stage you can look for an estimated revenue and cash flow record for the past 2 years.
If your startup has a similar product that makes you a direct competitor, you should use the excel sheet below and list your product and your competitors product to perform market analysis.
Understand the Customer’s Behavior.
This step is very Important in performing accurate market research:
Now that you have an idea about your competitors financial situation, it’s time to understand their customer’s behavior. Explore the top 15 attributes that their customers consider “high quality factor” and highlight them in your list.
Then, in your worksheet, you should assign relevant scores from 1 to 5 to segregate the high impacts and low impact factors.
One of the best free tools for startups to perform market research and analyse customer behavior is twitter search trends and of course Google trend.
Google trend allows you to narrow down your search results by industry and year.
As soon as you have your customer feedback and revenue contributor’s data, it’s time to sort your market research result from highest score to the lowest and rank them against your product features.
I have prepared an example to show you ho should your list look like. You can use google docs or Microsoft excel to sort them in this format. This format should give you a list of quality measurements you should consider for your startup.
Be careful, There is more to this entrepreneurship skill!
This list gives you a good idea about quality criteria that you need to meet especially when you compete against big players, Don’t overlook the smaller competitors that you have to beat. Remember: In a nutshell, “Quality” in startups and business means, satisfying your customer’s requirement, need and desires.
Here is the truth:
In order to strengthen your entrepreneurship skills such as market research, don’t try to duplicate what big players do as you will probably either launch very late or very immature.
Focus on your Business model and use the correct business pattern. You need to use your 4 Quadrant competitive analysis and study your direct competitors to capture the market quickly. Using lean startup, you should also learn to focus on building high quality “minimum viable product” known as MVP.
Don’t worry, I’ve explained them all in next chapters.
Here is what to do Next:
It’s time to feed the elephant. Use your worksheet and complete the “Define Quality” activity. The more honest you are, the better your result will be. If you want to share your thoughts on this, get in touch as I would be more than happy to hear it.