Compare Yourself To the Competition and More…How Do You Size Up?TomChilders
How would you like to know how you compare to your competitors in sales, cost effectiveness, number of employees, health insurance cost, workmen’s compensation cost and much more?
What if you could also identify potential suppliers by market and look for specific markets and customers to target? You can and it is absolutely free. It’s called SizeUp and let’s walk through a few things before you go to the site.
First, to sign in and set up an account all you need to do is give them your e-mail and set up a password. Nothing else. It’s free, painless, easy and fast. Next, they ask you a series of fill in the blank questions. They ask revenue, year started, average worker annual pay/salary, number of employees, annual health care premium paid per employee and annual workers’ compensation premium per employee (per $100 of payroll). Takes less than (5) minutes and you get back your rank based on revenue for your city, county, metro, state and nation. You can see how you compare to others like you in the city, county, MSA, state, or the nation. There is also a heat map that shows this data visually and at the zip code level. It shows how you compare in longevity, pay, employee count, cost effectiveness, health care cost, and workers’ compensation. On the right sidebar, it lists considerations and resources for each of these topics as well. It is very insightful yet practical. For example, next to the employee section, you can link to resources to scan resumes, compare pay, and much more. Next to insurance and workers’ comp, see how you compare to others and check out the resources for lowering your costs or getting additional quotes.
In the second section, entitled “Competition”, it actually has three (3) tabs. One for competition, one for customers, and one for suppliers. On the competition tab, it plots them out and lists them but of course no proprietary information (no individual company sales data). You can see counts, density, and proximity. The other tabs allow you to input the types of companies you sell to and buy from. You could put in Home Builders and General Contractors in the sell to part and put in Nurseries (Wholesale), Irrigation Wholesale, Landscape Supplies, etc. You can plug and play on all this and it is responsive and auto populates to give you ideas. This is a great way to gauge how well you know the players in a market.
On all three of these tabs, you can also overlay what consumers spend for various categories of products to get a feel for consumer expenditures in various categories. One of the better ones for our industry is “Gardening and Lawn Care” which is under “Household Operations” and then “Household Services” (it is easy and will make more sense when you play with it). The idea here is to see where the consumer expenditures are the greatest and get an overall feel for the markets you serve or are looking into.
The third and final section is entitled “Advertising” and it has filters you can set and edit in the header. You can select products and/or services you want to market, geographic markets and set radius, and lots more. At the bottom is a listing of the markets based on your criteria which you can drill into to learn more about the market. Things like household expenditures, home values, income, major industries and employment and labor force composition can be found. Again, plug and play is the best way to learn and it is very thorough yet very simple.
As you plug and play, remember that things like revenue per zip code reflect where the businesses are located not where they market and do business. For example, Dallas average company size would be calculated by totaling all the Dallas companies sales divided by number of Dallas companies. So if half of those Dallas companies do the majority of their business in Ft. Worth using the Dallas average number to indicate Dallas potential could be misleading. There are many ways to compensate for that with this tool but beware.
Last but not least, let’s review why all this is here and free. First, you have to understand SizeUp and what its all about. As SizeUp explains on it’s web page, About SizeUp, “Entrepreneurship is our future. Entrepreneurship is a valuable and critical element of community economic growth and individual business development which should be fostered and enabled. SizeUp gives entrepreneurs a deep view into their business and industry.” In my follow up on this with CEO and Co-Founder of SizeUp, Anatalio Ubalde, he explained “SizeUp helps small businesses make smarter decisions through data. Today, successful companies use information to inform and influence their business actions. While this is a common practice of big corporations, small businesses have historically been excluded from high quality market research and business intelligence because of the high cost and complexity of the data analysis. SizeUp overcomes this challenge by providing high-value business intelligence to small businesses in a format they can easily understand and make use of. In addition, the data insights are customized and personalized for every business that uses the service so that someone who provides landscape services can see exactly how they compare with their competitors in their local geography, can find customers and suppliers, and can optimize their advertising spending to maximize the results of their spending.”
Now it is time to get started and see how you “SizeUp”! You can go straight to the site, or watch these brief videos from the SBA (click on right side links entitled “learn more“), or view our full 15 minute tutorial below. Your call but get started now. See how you SizeUp and where you might be able to make some improvements in your business!