Most business owners would like to know how they stack up against other similar businesses.
Now there’s a new way to find out that’s both free and easy to use. And it will also help you find and analyze competitors, map your customers, competitors and suppliers, and find the best places to advertise.
This handy web-based service is called SizeUp (www.sizeup.com) and it can answer some of the difficult questions that may have long been on your mind, such as:
- Are your revenues higher or lower than other businesses like yours? Where are those that make more money than you located?
- What new businesses like yours are opening in your area and elsewhere around the country?
- How many employees do similar businesses have? Are they paying them more or less than you? How does their turnover compare to yours?
- How do your profit margins match up with similar businesses?
- Are other businesses like yours offering health insurance? If so, how much are they spending? What are their Workers’ Comp claims like?
The free online SizeUp tool will provide those answer, and more. For example, it will also help you identify the best areas to target with your marketing and advertising. You can choose from pre-set reports to find areas that lack access to your product or service and where average business revenue is highest.
While there’s no charge for this service, there is a small tradeoff. In order to generate customized and accurate benchmark reports via your personal dashboard, you’ll need to provide information about your own business. This includes year started, revenue, employee turnover, healthcare costs and revenue per employee, among other things.
According to SizeUp – a service of GIS Planning Inc., a San Francisco-based information technology company – all information you submit is kept confidential, used only to evaluate your company’s competitiveness, and is only for your use.
To created its comparative reports, SizeUp pulls in aggregated data from hundreds of sources, including IRS records, the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and many others. The service offers benchmarking data for thousands of different industries and business types, for almost anything where there are at least 1,000 businesses of that type nationwide.
How it Works
To access this free and helpful business intelligence, simply register at the website, and enter your information. Your SizeUp account gives you access to a range of competitive analysis reports, and you can also receive notices when your competitive standing changes.
The information from SizeUp can be highly localized. You’ll receive local benchmarking for your business and lots of handy comparison charts and graphs that you won’t find anywhere else.
For example, you’ll receive a custom scorecard that shows what percent of businesses you are outperforming in your industry. You’ll see if your score places you in the top, middle or bottom for revenue, size, salaries and other criteria.
Reports include more than just data. They also show you how to interpret the information, and use the insights to make better decisions going forward.
Reports on where to target your marketing can also be helpful. For example, they’ll help you pinpoint geographic areas – local or national – that are underserved by businesses like yours. You can adjust the distance of your analysis from a few miles around you, to the entire nation.
A Tool for Startups Too
SizeUp can also be a handy tool for entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business. The benchmarking tools will help you determine if your projections are reasonable, considering the type of business and market.
SizeUp makes it money by licensing its platform to government agencies (such as the U.S. Small Business Administration), business organizations (i.e. Chambers of Commerce) and large companies that serve the small business sector. Those organizations in turn offer it to their small business customers as a free service. But small businesses can also access SizeUp directly via the website above.
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