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Business / Operations

Mastering Your Industry: Competitors, Products, & Suppliers

A detailed plan to discovering competitors, products, suppliers in your industry to help grow your business.



It is important to develop a solid understanding of your industry. This includes who your competitors are, what products they offer, who your suppliers are, and possible areas for growth. This course walks you through each of these variables and how they impact your business.

This course provides videos from professors and real-world entrepreneurs who have built their own successful businesses, PDF downloads of exercises to complete for your own business, and topic evaluations to see where you stand in your industry knowledge.

The course curriculum is divided into six sections consisting of a general introduction called "Gaining Industry Knowledge" which discusses the importance of why you should be familiar with the different areas of your industry. The introduction is followed by five sections which discuss more in-depth topics to help you understand your industry to give you a competitive advantage. The sections include: Industry Characteristics, Competitive Rivalry, Influence of Suppliers, Nature of Customers, and Substitute Products.

Full details


  • Gaining Industry Knowledge
    Entrepreneurs Discuss Knowing Your Industry
    Gaining Industry Knowledge
    Online Resources
    Google Searches
    Bonus Video: David & Lynn Twombly - Central Coast Disposal
  • Industry Characteristics
    The Importance of Learning Your Industry
    Terms to know
    Industry Characteristics
    Research Questions
    Industry Characteristics Checklist
  • Competitive Rivalry
    David Neeleman: Founder, JetBlue Airlines & Azul Airlines
    Don't Ignore Your Competition
    Dave Neeleman - Understanding the Competition 1
    Dave Neeleman - Understanding the Competition 2
    Your Top Five Competitors
    Competitors Exercise
    Competitive Rivalry Checklist
  • Influence of Suppliers
    Inputs and Suppliers
    Inputs and Suppliers Exercise
    Inputs and Suppliers Exercise (cont.)
    Influence of Supplier Checklist
  • Nature of Customers
    Entrepreneurs Discuss Strategies for Knowing Your Industry
    Nature of Customers
    Nature of Customers Exercise
    Nature of Customers Exercise (cont.)
    Nature of Customers Checklist
  • Substitute Products
    What are Substitute Products
    Substitute Products Exercise
    Substitute Products Exercise (cont.)
    Substitute Products Checklist
  • Conclusion


  • Competitive Analysis

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