How to Use a Competitor Map to Pick the Best Location for a Business

Whether you’re starting a business or trying to manage the growth of an existing business, being cognizant of the competition is a significant aspect of sales success. Competitor awareness provides multiple strategic and tactical advantages to any business, especially regarding launching a new venture.    

Imagine you decided to open your own dental practice near Columbus, OH. 

Clients will not drive very far for a dentist visit in the dentistry industry. Nor will dental hygienists drive very far to clean patients’ teeth. Opening a new practice well-situated for patients and clinicians is a delicate balance. Your practice needed to be centrally located but not overcrowded with competing offices. 

You also needed some basic information about who the competition is, their annual revenue estimates,  and perhaps how many employees they have on the payroll. Fortunately, business mapping software can help you find the answers. All you need to do is build a competitor map and conduct some basic analysis. 

Define Your Area of Interest 

The first step is to create a 25-mile radius area around the center of Columbus, Ohio. This circle area encompasses about 84 ZIP codes. The mapping application quickly calculated this metro area’s population at just under 2 million. 

A 25-mile radius map surrounding the Columbus, OH area.

 Demographically, dentistry is quite simple. Everyone ages 2 to 102 needs a dentist, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or income level. Every one of these 2 million folks are potential customers. 

Map the Competition 

Next, you had to figure out where are the competing practices. How many are there? You quickly searched business listing data in the mapping application for Dentist Practices, placing the locations on the map area of interest. Each business listing also included annual sales revenue estimates and the approximate number of employees per dental office.

In dentistry, the more employees there are, the more hygienists are in place, which is the key to a successful practice. To analyze correctly, you need to be aware of the hygienist concentration and consider opening your practice in a less crowded area. 

By applying easy-to-use filters and industry look-up criteria, you realized you could download competing dental practices and view the location points on the map. 

A dental practice competitor map for the Columbus, OH metro area.

Identify the Optimum ZIP Codes 

The mapping application provides the ability to create a basic formula that suggests the optimum locations for a business. The appropriate formula can then be used to color code the ZIP codes. ZIP codes with the highest population and lowest competing dental employee practice counts are the optimum ZIPs to invest in. Yellow ZIP codes in the Columbus Metro area map center are the best location options for your new practice. 

The top four best ZIP code candidates for a new dental practice in the Columbus, OH metro area.

Get a List of Nearby Competitors for Further Research 

The business mapping software’s business listings data helped you identify the competitors within the target ZIP codes for further study.  

Business Listings data includes a full spectrum of information about the competition in your area of interest: 

  • Business name. 
  • Industry type. 
  • Contact name, title, phone and email address (where available.) 
  • Organization type. 
  • Facility type – branch, headquarters, franchise. 
  • Annual revenue estimate. 
  • Number of employees. 

A sample of dentistry practice business listings downloaded from MapBusinessOnline.


You created a competitor map of your target area of interest using business mapping software and business listing data. You established the optimum ZIP code areas for a new dental practice.  

Further research using business mapping could reveal more demographic details about the ZIP code and city demographics in any area where you desire to do business. You can use business mapping tools and business listings to create multiple map visualizations, sales territories, and even full market analysis and still have time to clean some teeth.  

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About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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