15. Competitors

15.1 Identify the top three competitors.
15.2 To what degree are these other employers true competitors? Do they actually supply the same product or service?
15.3 What are the percentages of the industry that your target firm and each of its major competitors control?
15.4 Is one of these firms emerging as a leader?

Firms often identify competitors or peer groups on Form 10-K or Form DEF14-A (the proxy statement) available from the SEC’s EDGAR database. Once you find your target firm on Yahoo Finance, you can select the “competitors” tab which both identifies major competitors and provides some basic financial information on each. Industry publications will be invaluable in identifying industry leaders, percentage of market share and where your target firm is in relation to its competitors.

SpyFu allows you to access web analytics for your company by searching for its web address.  This may provide insights on other companies that consumers are searching for in this industry.

Google Trends and Alerts may provide useful information on your company’s relations to its competitors.

When evaluating competitors, it is important to identify if they are true competitors. Do they actually produce the same product mix and have similar clients or customers?

UMass Resources (for UMass students only)

Mergent Online provides detailed information on competitors.

IBIS WorldMarketline Advantage, and BCC Research provide reports on a wide variety of industries, often including information on competitors.