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Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business into a Reality by MaryEllen Tribby

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Chapter 5

Competitive Analysis: The Direct and Indirect

Competitive analysis is about knowing your competition. One of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to learn more about your competition is by searching for them on Google.

Not only will Google help you discover if there are other inbox magazines out there covering the same topic, but Google can also help you uncover any forums or other online communities that reach your main target market.

First of all, don’t think of competition as something bad that can discourage you from starting your own inbox magazine. Instead, think of competition as a way to verify that your market can be lucrative and as a way to see what works. You want to see what your competitors are doing right so you can mimic that. You also want to see what your competitors might be missing so you can fill that need.

Two Is Better Than One

Basically, you want to identify two categories of competition: direct and indirect competitors.

A direct competitor is someone selling the same thing to the same market in the same way as you. If you’re marketing an inbox magazine targeted at folks with back pain and somebody else also offers an inbox magazine targeted at folks with back pain and they’re selling the exact same thing to the exact same market in the exact same way, that’s a direct competitor.

If somebody is a direct competitor, don’t look at him or her as a threat. Think of them as a possible panelist for your inbox magazine, or even a possible partner in ...

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