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Competitive Mapping:
The resources on this page will help you to begin a preliminary competitive analysis and mapping.

Competitive Mapping (5 Step Process)


If you know which zip code you would like to analyze, then please skip this step.

If not, you can identify zip codes using this link: External Link (will open in a new tab). Type in the city or address into "Address" and click on "Find Zipcode". The zip code for that location and others nearby can then be seen. You can adjust the zoom size by clicking on the "+" or "-" to the left of the map.

In the U.S. Census Bureau window (use the link below) please type in the keyword brief description of your business (example: pet stores) in the input box in the upper left corner of the page, then click on "2007 NAICS Search". In some cases you will be given one or more businesses from which to choose, hopefully. Please try using a more generic description if your keyword approach did not work (for example - if you enter "Mexican restaurant", you will not get any result. Don't worry - enter in "restaurant" and you will get a list from which to choose. Choose the most appropriate. Take a note of the NAICS code for your business. If you still cannot get the NAICS number by keyword, go to and enter in "keyword NAICS" - where keyword is the keyword for your business - please do not use quotes - this should give you some options to identify your NAICS.

To access the NAICS search page in a separate tab, please click here (will open in a new tab): NAICS Search External Link

The Census Bureau web site has been changing and may be difficult to navigate, so here are some detailed instructions on how to identify the number of companies that exist in a particular zip code, based on a specific 6-digit NAICS code (business type), and broken down by the number of employees. This can help to identify clustering (e.g., restaurant row) and competitive levels within that zip code.

Please access the URL and detailed instructions by viewing this page (will open in a new tab): ZIP CODE ANALYSIS External Link

At the SuperPages web site (use the link below), please type in your business keyword(s), followed by the zip code (for example - pet shops 91748), and click on "Search". When results come up - look at the menu options (toward top of the page), and click on "DISTANCE". Select 5, which will now show you results for your zip code and 5 mile radius. This is an easy way to browse through your competition (or acquisition targets) within a 5 mile radius of your preferred location. Scrolling to the bottom of the page (use the slide bar to the right) will tell you which records are showing out of the total number found (for example, "Displaying 1 - 15 of 251 results"). Each page of displayed results is "mapped for you" so that you can see the location (on a map) of the results on that page.

They key here is to look for differences, not similarities. There may be many types of businesses that fit into the general category. It is very helpful for us to identify which type of business, specifically, we have, and which are our direct and indirect competitors.

To access SuperPages in a separate tab, please click here (will open in a new tab): SuperPages External Link

Looking at the zip code, identifying the number and size of competitors (based on NAICS), and then mapping competitive levels for various preferred locations can tell us much about the types of competition and competitive saturation levels. You may find many competitors, but perhaps there are only a few that specialize in the types of products and services that you carry. This may be a good start toward a more comprehensive competitive mapping profile for your company. Here are some resources to help you utilize geo-mapping and analysis techniques when completing a location analysis, for a physical location External Link or for an e-commerce website External Link.

Developed by Dr. Ralph Jagodka ©2019