I have spent the best part of January writing my business plan. Anyone who’s attempted to write such a document will know that it is not an easy task. The market research section is especially tricky.
I found myself spending quite a significant amount of time searching the web for information on potential competitors or other web startups. Thus, I’d like to share with you some tools I have used:
1 - Traffic analysis:
If you want to advertise on your website, you need to guess what the traffic will be based on what others do and how much market share you can grab. I used the following sites:
- Compete.com: provides free of charge analytics on unique visitors.
- quantcast.com: Very elegant and detailed. Free of charge analytics on unique visitors, visits and page views. Careful! By default, it presents this data for the US only. You have to change the parameter to global if you want worlwide stats.
- Alexa.com: Deemed by some as the “reference” on the web. I found it sometimes useful but plagued with useless information like regional ranking showing by default results for Peru or Romania….
2 - Information on competition:
It is quite time consuming to find relevant information on other startups. Here are some of the sites I have used:
- Wikipedia.org: I know this is not ground breaking news and Wikipedia can sometimes be an untrustworthy source of information. Nevertheless, the interesting bit is at the bottom of a wikipedia page: The “Reference” section enables you to find a host of interesting articles and stumble upon some great stuff.
- quora.com: In the past I never used Quora. I found it very interesting and useful. Don’t forget to have a look on the right inside of the page in the “related questions” section. There is some great info in there!
- crunchbase.com: This website is a sort of database for technology companies. It provides good data especially on funding rounds for startups.
Last but not least, one should not forget that sometimes the data you are looking for is sitting on the site that that you are directly benchmarking.
So I could not emphasise more the fact that it is mandatory to read through the “about us”, “investors”, “press”, etc sections of most websites.
They hold tons of priceless information especially financial reports. They’re not only for accountants. When it’s a web company it can hold traffic analysis, market share and even more!blog comments powered by Disqus