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Understanding Your Competitors and Industry/Market

An important component of your business plan will be working out who your competitors are. No matter how innovative you think your product/service is, it is highly unlikely that there won't be competition.

         If you think you don't have competitors, think again. (4 min read)

As well as understanding your competitors, it is essential that you understand the characteristics or the forces shaping your industry or market. This will help you plan current and future strategies and be on the look out for trends to keep you ahead of the competition.


Understanding Your Competitors


Analyzing your competitors

 Tips on Identifying Your Competitors (2 min read)

  • Direct competitors are those who have a product/service similar to yours and want to attract the same customers.
  • Indirect competitors are those who have a different product/service to yours but who want to attract the same customers.
  • Future competitors are businesses that could move into direct or indirect competitor roles.


Tools to find out who your competitors are

Library database. To locate Hong Kong companies, select Company information. Limit search to Hong Kong. Enter a keyword describing the industry or enter an industry code (NAICS) to locate companies working in the same industry as yours.


Has another start-up come up with the same product/service as yours?

An online competitor tracking platform, provides competitive intelligence about private companies including start-ups. You can track your competitors' news, funding and product/service announcements. It is free to register.

Creates a daily list of the best new products including mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.

Understanding Your Industry

Find the latest developments, news and trends in your industry.

Industry Information Research Guide Has a list of selected websites and Library resources to help you find industry information.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Merchandise Trade from HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade and Development Council)
Includes Hong Kong's electronics and electrical industry, and more.

Hong Kong Service Industries from HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade and Development Council)
Includes Hong Kong's design & marketing industry, technology industry, and more.

Directory of Hong Kong Trade and Industrial Organizations 
Take a look at the websites of relevant organizations to find the latest news, publications, events, and more.

News and Latest Developments

Hong Kong Business 
A monthly magazine for business in Hong Kong and China. Take a look at the "Sections" menu to find the latest on an industry.

WisersOne [Library database] 
Covers newspapers and news sources from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Mainland China.


globalEDGE from Michigan State University 
Covers 20 global industry sectors. Includes industry background, resources, major companies, trade statistics, and more.

Industry news from around the world.

Market Intelligence: How to Retain Your Customers

It is generally acknowledged that it is costlier to attract new customers than to retain your current ones. Find out some tips for retaining your customers by taking a look at the links below.

The Lean Startup

The idea of the 'Lean start-up' came from Eric Reis. His book is 'The lean start-up today: how today's entrepreneurs use continuous improvement to create radically successful businesses'. From his experiences in setting up start-ups, he promoted the idea of continuous and iterative improvement of a product/service based on customer needs.