I'm thinking in making my own "market research study" (if that applies) by no spending money but time. My resource: the web.
The idea is make the most complete possible list about my possible competitors (let's say for a niche market, suppose "Project Management software" or "Personal Finances software").
So, will look in search engines with the respective keywords, plus downloads sites and the companies websites themselves.
I think of populate the list with the next data columns...
-Product Name -Company Name -Product Type (or subtypes/subniches that applies) -Current Version -Years in Market -Min Unit Price (the free/community or basic edition) -Max Unit Price (the pro/enterprise/premium edition) -Number of editions (I've seen software with as much as 6 editions!) -Web Ranking (position in search engines) -Total Downloads (as reported by downloads.com or sites alike) -Has Phone Support? (it says about customer care, prod. complexity and staff size) -Has Corporate Sales? (..plus it says about size) -Detected Banners (still don't know how to detect they banners in magazines or blogs) -Detected Search Ads (same as above) -Estimated Marketing Cost (Here begins the subjective feelings) -Estimated IT Staff (just begin to calculate how many people in that company) -Country of Origin -Average Country Salary x IT Employee (So we can estimate a minimum payroll cost) -Estimated operational cost (minimum marketing + minium payroll + taxes + ?)
What do you think about this approach? Suggestions about methodology, more columns to add, etc... will be appreciated!