Step 3: Competitors and suppliers

Thinking of starting a business?
Be prepared – take our business readiness quiz.

Researching your competitors will give you key information about their businesses, including their location, what prices they charge, the quality of their products and services, how they find and engage with customers and how they advertise. This will help you identify your competitive advantage.

Finding the right suppliers is an important part of providing your customers with quality products and services at competitive prices.

Your competitors and suppliers can operate either:

  • 'brick and mortar' businesses (i.e. selling to customers through a physical shop)
  • online businesses (i.e. selling to customers through an online shop).

Researching brick and mortar businesses

To research competitive businesses you can use a wide range of business directories, including Yellow Pages, True Local etc.

Researching online businesses

Use search engines and other online tools

  1. To find out which businesses are selling online, type the name of your products/services or business type into a search engine (e.g. Google).
  2. Search social media to find out how these business engage with their customers.
  3. Check online customer reviews to see what people are saying about particular businesses.

Also consider...