Section Ten: Competition

Purpose

You must recognize the importance and positioning of your future/potential competition. Without a reasonable understanding of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses you run the risk of losing your market share.

Guidelines

Table 18 should help you summarize your competition.

Table 18: Guidelines for Competition

Guidelines for Competition
  • Understand who your competitors are.
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Remember, not all competitors are in your specific business area, or in your geographic location.
  • Maintain a constant watch of competitors’ activities.

Example

Table 19 shows the write-up for Fay’s Variety’s competition.

Table 19: Competition for Fay’s Variety

COMPETITION
Fay’s Variety recognizes the extent of the competition’s position from an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. A survey was conducted, enabling Fay’s Variety to pinpoint our position.

The major competitor is Peterson’s, a food retail operation owned by the Kerr Group. The store is larger than Fay’s Variety and considerably newer with paved parking. They tend to draw on the population at the south end of the city, while we focus on the balance.

The major drawback to Peterson’s is lack of supporting businesses or services in their small plaza. Therefore, many people that shop there do so for one reason – grocery shopping, compared with an abundance of other services in the immediate vicinity of Fay’s Variety, i.e. banking, restaurants, hardware, pharmacy, mens and ladies clothing stores, etc. It is important that we try to capture the customer base that is shopping at Peterson’s. A review of their strengths and weaknesses will help in formulating a plan.

Other competitors are located throughout Anywheretown. The major drawing card would appear to be value-added services and stores, such as additional banking, shows, and restaurants. As mentioned in an earlier section, the Tourism Anywheretown Task Force and the local Chamber of Commerce are working very hard to promote shopping locally. We need to support this directive by posting signs in our store thanking them for supporting local business and in doing so, enabling us to hire local people.

Fay’s Variety will continue to research customers, markets and competition so that we do not lose sight of our relative position with regard to competition (see Chart 2).

Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths

  • Newer store
  • Equipment
  • Size (larger)
  • Specials (limited)
  • Clean
  • Petersons level of produce quality
  • Produce from local sources
Weaknesses

  • Pricing — overall
  • Unfriendly staff
  • Not within walking distance
  • Meat quality
  • Aisles cluttered
  • Size of produce counter
  • Location

 Click on Worksheet 8.9 and list your 5 top competitors.

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