Do you want to gain a competitive edge over other companies in your sector? Or are you a consultant working for a client and want to understand the players in the field? Or maybe you are looking for companies to buy or sell your business to.

No matter what's your reason, it all starts with understanding your, or your client's, competition. Identifying the competitors and learning about their strengths and weaknesses can help you in many ways. It can help you better position your business in the market – or it can help you find ways to grow. In this article, we'll walk you through a simple step-by-step guide to discovering competitors for any company.

A. Benefits of Knowing Competitors

1. Know Your Market

Understanding the competitive landscape of the desired industry provides you with valuable insights into the market. Knowing your competitors and their strategies will help you decide how to position your product or service.

2. Identify Opportunities

Knowing your competitors can help you discover new opportunities for business growth. For example, by understanding areas where your competitors are weak, you can develop strategies to exploit those areas and gain a competitive advantage. Or if you are looking for potential competitors you'd like to buy, you can easily identify the ones that could be willing to sell.

3. Spot Weaknesses

By studying your competitors, you can identify their weaknesses. This can help you find ways to strengthen your own product or service.

4. Improve Pricing Strategies

Knowing how much your competitors are charging for their products or services can help you to set more competitive prices and avoid pricing wars.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

A. How to identify the target market?

Identifying your target market is the first step in the process of market research and competitive analysis. It involves identifying the audience you want to reach with the product or service. To do this, you'll need to define your target market by understanding the characteristics of your ideal customer, such as age, gender, income, location, interests, and needs. Customer research and customer feedback can be one way to do this. You can for example use data from previous customer surveys to gain additional insight. By understanding your target market, you will be better equipped to understand the dynamics of the competitors too.

B. Set Objectives

After understanding your target market, you need to set objectives for your competitive research. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to gain market share, increase pricing, or develop a new product?

Or are you looking for a buyer for your business – or are you planning to grow through acquisitions? You competitor research can look a bit different depending on your objectives.

Step 2: Find Competitors of a Company

A. How to identify competitors for a company?

1. Start by Listing Your Competitors

You can do manual desktop research with Google or you can save time and use special softwares like Inven that are built for this purpose. Always check company websites, their activities and maybe social accounts to understand the competitors better.

2. Analyze Their Business Strategies

Take the time to understand your competitors’ business strategies. Find out how they are positioning their products or services in the market, what tactics they are using to attract customers, and how they are pricing their products or services.

3. Research Their Financials

Take the time to understand your competitors’ financials. Look for clues about their profitability, customer base, and areas of strength.

B. What tools can I use to identify a company's competitors?

Searching for similar companies or company competitors can be really time-consuming. There are several tools you can use to conduct a competitive analysis in an efficient manner and identify all the relevant competitors for a company.

Use online search engines for manual desktop research

One of the most common ways to find competitors is to use online search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing are great for researching competitors and can provide you with a list of potential competitors by simply entering the name or product that you’re researching. Yet, the downside is that you get an endless number of website pages to go through, so you need to be careful with prioritizing.

You can also use paid search tools, such as SEMrush or Ahrefs, to get a better understanding of the competition and their strategies. These tools are mostly for understanding their online presence, digital marketing, and keyword strategies but in some cases, it can be useful.

Use competitor analysis tools to save time and improve accuracy

To save time from manual desktop research and to make sure you don't miss anything important, you can use competitor analysis tools like Inven. With Inven you can easily find companies based on what they actually do. Using specific keywords or example companies, Inven shows you all the relevant companies in different countries with information on their headcount, industry, and ownership type.

If you only do google searches, you might miss companies that have not specialized in SEO. Search Engines like Google always show first companies with great search-engine optimization, which can lead to you missing out on some relevant competitors who haven't invested in that.

These specified AI-powered tools can be used to compare different companies, analyze their strategies, and identify opportunities. These tools provide you with a comprehensive view of the industry by listing all relevant companies a lot faster than manual desktop research would.

Use industry directories to understand the industry

One way to research your competitors is to use an industry directory or local business directories. Industry directories are an effective source of information and can be used to identify current and potential competitors. They provide important details such as contact information, product offerings, and pricing.

Take benefit of social media

Social media is also a valuable tool for market research. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great for learning about what your competition is doing. You can find this information form their posts, advertising or other activity. This can provide valuable insights into the marketing strategies of your competitors, as well as their target markets and customer base. You might want to consider researching your competitors ads through Facebook ads library, TikTok ads library, YouTube ads library or Google Transparency library.

By using a combination of these strategies, you can successfully identify a company’s competition and use the information to create a competitive analysis of the company.

Step 3: Understand the competitors better

A. Analyzing Competitor’s Financial Performance

Analyzing a competitor’s financial performance is one of the most important steps in competitive analysis. Financial performance can provide valuable insights into a company’s competitive capabilities, financial stability, and profitability. Knowing the financial performance of your competitor can help you determine the competitive strategies they may be utilizing, such as pricing, sales volume, and marketing investments.

You can use a variety of sources to analyze and compare financial performance, including public financial statements, industry and market research, and analyst reports. These sources can provide valuable information on a competitor’s financial performance, such as their sales and profits, debt, assets, and cash flows.

Some of the earlier mentioned search tools, like Inven, can also provide financial data right away. This can help you to save time by getting all the required information from one place.

Analyzing competitors' financial performance is important for you to identify potential trends or opportunities in the market. It can provide insights into a competitor’s competitive advantage and how that advantage can be leveraged for your own competitive advantage. If you're looking for competitors to buy or sell your business, the financial information can give you a good signal of the intent.

Market trends and market size mapping

B. Identifying Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Identifying a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of conducting competitive analysis. It helps you to gain a better understanding of the competition and how to position yourself to maximize your own competitive advantage. There are a number of ways to identify a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, such as researching the company’s business practices, analyzing the company’s financial performance, and studying the company’s customer base.

Business practices such as pricing, product offerings, customer service, and marketing strategies are important indicators of a company’s competitive advantage. Researching these practices can provide insights into what the competitor does well and where there are potential weaknesses. Analyzing the competitor’s financial performance can also provide valuable insights into the competitor’s financial stability, as well as their competitive capabilities. Finally, studying the company’s customer base can provide insights into their target markets, customer loyalty, and brand recognition. By understanding the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where you can differentiate your own product or service to gain a competitive advantage.

What methods can I use to compare a company to its competitors?

Once you've found the relevant companies, you should do an analysis and write down your findings. One way to do this is to do strength and weaknesses analysis. You can use for example SWOT analysis technique. SWOT stands for identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Once you’ve gathered all relevant information, you can create a competitive analysis report which will provide a comprehensive comparison between your company and its competitors. You can include various data points such as market segmentation, pricing strategies, product features, customer profiles, and competitive positioning. This detailed report can help you identify opportunities and develop strategies to gain a competitive edge.


Competitive analysis is a vital tool for businesses to gain insights into their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. It helps you to identify potential opportunities in the market and to position yourself to maximize your own competitive advantage.

Moreover, competitor analysis can be a starting point for you also if you're looking to grow through acquisitions – or if you're searching for potential buyers to acquire your business.

Conducting market research and financial analysis is an important step to understanding your competitors’ performance and willingness to sell or buy. Additionally, studying the customer base of your competitors can provide important insights into their target markets, customer loyalty, and brand recognition. With a thorough analysis, you can gain insights into your competitors’ operations and use them to your advantage.