When a company wants to enter a new country, one of the first questions is: what are my competitors in that market?
For most small and medium-sized businesses, in each market there are different competitors, often they are local small/medium-sized enterprises strongly rooted in the national or regional territory.
How do you identify them?
We suggest you 2 simple, free, and effective methods to find foreign competitors.
FIRST METHODS: TRADE FAIRS ANALYSIS
An effective system is to examine the participants of the sectoral fairs. All exhibitions and trade fairs publish the list of exhibitors on their website, you have to analyze them one by one to understand if someone is a competitor that you didn’t know about.
Start by examining the exhibitors of the fairs you know. You probably already know most of these companies, but it is not excluded that you can discover some new competitors from some other countries.
Once you have examined the fairs you know, you must look for other fairs, perhaps very small and with the local public, which takes place in the country where you want to export. How to do it?
First of all, try to search on Google. Like “trade fairs of plastic in Tunisia” for example. If you find a new trade fair, start to analyze all the exhibitors.
But this is not enough, sometimes it is not easy to find relevant trade fairs on Google for your sector.
You can do something more: examine the sites of your competitors.
Often in the news/press release/media sections, competitors write in which fairs they participated. If you don’t find anything on their site, you should check social channels (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). They often post photos of the stand and press releases. This can be useful because if one of your competitors has exhibited in some small fair abroad, you will find out.
Again, if you discover a new trade fair, analyze all the participants again.
This analysis can be a bit long, but it is an excellent way to find out the local competitors. It is also extremely useful because you can be aware of local distributors, or distributors of complementary products, that you should contact to purpose your products.
SECOND METHOD: GOOGLE ADVANCED RESEARCH
A second free method that we suggest to find competitors is to use Google Advanced Search.
PREMISE: Google stores your location and your search language. So every time you search, Google shows you first the companies in your country and your language.
If you have to look for foreign competitors, you have to do 2 things:
FIRST STEP: Do the research in the local language.
Often, it is not enough to research in English, because some competitors which sell locally, may not have translated the site into English (or they may have translated it only partially).
My advice is to research very technical terms in the local language:
- Make a list of very technical words used in your sector (a dozen may be enough)
- Translate them into the local language (you can use Google Translate)
- Search them one by one on Google
The research in the local language will be more precise, but you don’t have to stop here. To get results even more relevant, you have to change the Google search settings. This is the second step.
SECOND STEP: Change the search settings
You need to set up Google to show you websites that come from a specific country. Why?
Imagine that you are an Italian company that is looking for manufacturers of plastic pipes in Tunisia. In Tunisia, most small and medium-sized sites are translated into Arabic and French.
If you do the research in:
- Arabic research: you will find Tunisian companies, but also Egyptian, Moroccan, Arabia Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, etc
- French research: you will find Tunisian companies, but also French, Canadian, Moroccan, Swiss, etc
These are tens of thousands of results. It is impossible to analyze everything. You must specify in Google search that you are only interested in websites that come from a particular country (Tunisia, in our case).
How to do?
STEP 1: Launch the search normally (do not forget to launch it in the local language), and select “Settings” In the example, I searched plastic pipe manufacturer in French “fabricant de tuyaux en plastique”
STEP 2: Select “Setting” and then “Advanced search”.
STEP 3: Select in the tab, the “Region” you are looking for. In the example, I am looking for producers from Tunisia
STEP 4: Only websites from the selected country appear. In the example, only websites from Tunisia are visible
These two systems for finding competitors are easy to use and are free. My suggestion is to use both to have a complete and effective analysis.
If you are looking for business partners, you should visit our business portal. It is an alternative to trade show exhibitions for finding international partners.