You will want to explain the current alternatives on the market, and be sure to describe what your advantages are. You might consider using a competitor matrix to help illustrate this.
Also, be sure to understand the difference between direct and indirect competitors. As an example, if you manufacture yo-yos, a direct competitor would be another yo-yo manufacturer. An indirect competitor would be a Rubik's Cube manufacturer.
There are many ways you can identify your competition, but one of the best is to find the relevant NAICS/SIC code for the industry you hope to compete in, and then use that information to help you create a list of companies within that particular industry.
There are many ways you can create a list of companies. Whether you want to create a target list of companies to network with, apply to, recruit from, pitch a product or service; or you need to find a list of competitors, or the biggest/most impactful companies in certain markets and industries, finding and creating lists is the way to go.
The two main categories are explained below, focusing on tools and resources available at the ULS.
Company rankings lists for a particular industry or industry segment can help you identify key players or competitors within that industry. Several databases also compile competitor lists for specific companies as well.
Be sure to understand how any rankings or lists are compiled, and what companies are included. For instance, Mergent Online defaults to showing only public US companies as competitors.
Accompanying image is a list of Ford competitors in Mergent Online.
One of the easiest ways to find lists of companies is to locate a company's competitors in a company database.
These competitor lists are a great way to get started if you have one ideal target company. Keep in mind the competitors are chosen for various reasons depending on the source, so the competitors listed in the following databases might be different for the same company.
If you are looking for key players in a specific industry, industry reports will often help you start your list. The links and instructions below will help you find industry reports.
When doing industry research you often want to know the industry classification code (such as NAICS or SIC) for the industry you're interested in. Find out more about industry codes.
The Pittsburgh Book of Lists is helpful when looking for Pittsburgh-specific "top" lists. The most recent edition and some older ones are available online via BizJournals. Older print editions are available in the reference section of Hillman Library.
Some industries or popular topics will have their own lists of companies. Some examples are below:
For manufacturing firms, try searching ThomasNet.
For directories of specific types of companies, like broadcast and media, consultants, etc., try Gale Directory Library. Once in the database, use the first drop-down box to select the specific directory to use.
There are many places to get market share data. For a detailed overview, please visit this page on finding market share data.
While there are some free sites that allow you to create custom lists, you'll have more search features and filters if you use our company databases.
You can often create a list based on a variety of variables (i.e. geographic location, revenue, employees, industries, etc.)
These tabs will explain how to create custom lists of companies.
You'll often be able to not only create a list of companies, but also choose which variables or data points to view or download.
Image is from a downloaded list of companies using Capital IQ.
Here are some tips:
The following is an example of one way to screen for companies in Capital IQ. The example creates a list of companies in the Pittsburgh area that currently employ a Marketing Professional or Head of Marketing affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. Capital IQ is very complex with many features and options. Please contact us if you have questions!
This video will show you the basics of creating lists in Mergent Online.
This video will show you the basics of creating a company list in Nexis Uni.
There are some additional resources available at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh that might suit your needs better. You can access these either at a CLP location, or online if you have a CLP library card. Business librarians are only available at the Downtown & Business branch.
- Reference USA - has some really good list building features, sometimes including contact information.
- AtoZDatabases - also good for list/lead generating and getting contact information
See the full list of CLP databases.