Why does competition make us better

Competitive analysis and competition analysis in the business plan

In 2 steps to the competition and competition analysis

The competition and competition analysis is one of the chapters in the business plan that is read very carefully, especially by investors and capital providers. Ultimately, the question is what opportunities and risks arise due to the competitive situation.

A solid market analysis including market research forms the basis for a well-founded analysis. Another interesting question is which sales potential - derived from the competition analysis - can be determined for your business model. You can use our free sales potential tool for the calculation.

1. Analyze the competition

In the competitive analysis, you identify and analyze all relevant factors that could have an influence on your target market. You should consider or examine the following factors / stakeholders in your competition analysis:

  • The state as a regulator
    The state can exert a significant influence on competition, e.g. by regulating prices and / or granting permits. A component of your competition analysis should therefore also be the examination of projects that require approval.
  • The bargaining power of the suppliers
    Show the negotiating position of the suppliers in your market. In some industries, suppliers are strongly tied to their customers (e.g. by contract). In your competition analysis, show which difficulties your company could face due to a strong negotiating position of the suppliers and how you would react to them (this factor can also be relevant for the competition analysis).
  • The bargaining power of the customers
    Customers can have a huge impact on pricing. Your competitive analysis should accordingly describe the bargaining power of your target customers. The bargaining power of the customers may also be important for your competition analysis, especially if there is strong customer loyalty.
  • Alternatives: Are there substitution products?
    You have already analyzed the trends in your market under Market potential. Nevertheless, as part of the competition analysis, you should consider whether your product could possibly be replaced by a new offer (substitution).
  • How high are possible barriers to market entry?
    In your complete competition analysis (including competition analysis) you should mention the barriers to market entry, as this allows you to show which obstacles you (and possibly other competitors) have to overcome when entering the market. Since barriers to market entry are an important part of the competitive analysis, you will find further information here.


The last and most important factor in competitive analysis is competitive analysis. Because the attractiveness of the respective market and thus the likelihood of success for your business start-up depends largely on the rivalry among competitors. It is therefore important that you also carefully examine the competition as part of a complete competition analysis. In the next sections we will show you how to carry out a competition analysis.

In preparation for the competition analysis, you should determine the positioning of your direct competitors - download the free positioning tool here.

In preparation for the competition analysis, you should determine the positioning of the respective competitors. Use the free positioning tool for this.

Use the positioning tool now

2. Competitor analysis: who are your competitors?

The competition analysis is an important part of the competition analysis. In the competition analysis, the first step is to collect information about your competitors, which you should then process and evaluate. The results of your competition analysis (e.g. competitive advantages of the individual competitors etc.) are then particularly relevant for the corporate strategy.

Basically, the competition analysis is about getting to know the competitors better and being able to assess them. A good competition analysis not only provides information about the number and respective market shares of the competitors, but also shows the strengths and weaknesses (which you can exploit) of the competitors. The competition analysis is also important for potential investors, who can better assess the likelihood of your company's success based on the competition analysis.

In order to get a good overview of the competitive situation, we advise you to approach your competition analysis step by step by answering the following questions:

  1. Who are your competitors?
    In the competition analysis, you first determine the relevant competitors. It is important to know not only WHO you have as a competitor, but also WHERE they are active.
  2. What market shares do the biggest, direct competitors have?
    A complete competition analysis quantifies the total number of direct competitors and contains information on the market shares of the competitors. The aim is to identify the most influential competitors. If you cannot find any information on the market shares, then try to estimate the market shares of the 3-5 largest competitors in your competition analysis.
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors?
    Finally, a competition analysis should also provide information about where your competitors have strengths and weaknesses. Strengths can mean insurmountable barriers to market entry, whereas you can exploit the weaknesses of your competitors. In your competition analysis, describe the competitive advantages and the unique selling points (or the special customer benefits) of the 3-5 largest direct competitors.

The most important findings of your competition analysis belong in the business plan. In the business plan, make sure that your competition analysis contains not only quantitative (i.e. number, market shares, etc.) but also qualitative (strengths / weaknesses analysis) statements about the competition.

Market research: the basis for competitor analysis

You have to obtain data, figures and facts for your competition analysis and competitor analysis yourself. You can use the following sources of information:

  • Internet: You will find a number of useful sources for your competitive analysis and analysis here.
  • Stiftung Warentest: The Stiftung Warentest may have written a test report that you can use for your competitor analysis and / or competitor analysis.
  • Federal gazette and company register: A look at the company register provides information on the financial data of your competitors. You can find profiles of your competitors and further information for competitor analysis at Genios or Firminform.
  • Yellow pages or the local: A complete competition analysis (including competition analysis) also provides information on the number of competitors. Use both portals to check how many competitors there are in the immediate vicinity. For example, if there are already 5 Italian restaurants within 100 meters, one can presumably assume market saturation). You can also use the Google Maps tool for this by entering the competitors on your own map (location-based competition analysis).
  • Direct competition analysis: If you already know your competitors, inquire on site. Just drop by to check the range or offer for your competitor analysis!

Competitor analysis with the help of the competitor analysis tool

So that you can quickly and easily present your competition analysis in the business plan, we provide you with a free competition analysis tool. You can download this easy-to-use competitor analysis tool here.

The aim of the competition and competitor analysis is ...

... that in this section of the business plan you explain exactly who your main competitors are, what they do well or less well, and how competitive the market is. After the competition and competition analysis, you and the reader (e.g. investor or bank) should be able to roughly estimate your chances of success in entering the market.

With the competition analysis and the competition analysis, you close the "market" area in your business plan with the market entry barriers. After that, it is a matter of setting yourself realistic business goals in the market that you now know.

Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.