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Mastering the Art of Business Espionage

Mastering the Art of Business Espionage

Spy on your Competitors for Success in the world of Live-Action Gaming

You might not need a shoe phone or umbrella gun, but competitor intelligence is essential for a battlefield operator.

Understanding your competition is like being a secret agent gathering vital intelligence.

Competitor analysis is a valuable tool in the Battlefield Operator's tool kit. It is your secret weapon in ongoing battlefield market supremacy. 

Let’s delve into competitor analysis and get a step-by-step approach to mastering it in the live-action gaming industry. Enabling you to outmaneuver rivals, outsmart others, and ultimately claim victory in the marketplace. Armed with this intelligence, you can develop a winning game plan, differentiate your brand, and offer a superior experience to your customers.

Whether you are running a mobile laser tag biz, an outdoor milsim field manager, or an indoor laser tag arena owner, competitor analysis can help you thrive.

competitive intelligence 007


Competition in your market can be intimidating, but it is a good thing. The presence of competitors validates your business idea and proves there is a demand for live-action gaming. If others are making a living from it, so can you!

This validation allows you to move forward with confidence, knowing that there is a customer base ready to engage with your business offer.

To effectively understand your competitors, envision it as a series of concentric circles. Your business will have direct competitors, secondary and indirect competitors.

Direct Competitors

At the innermost level, you have direct competitors – those who offer similar products or services to fulfill the same customer needs and target the same audience as you.

Like for like.

For instance, if you operate a mobile laser tag service, your direct competitors are other mobile laser tag businesses. If you operate an indoor Family Entertainment Center with multiple attractions including laser tag, then it is other FECs.

In other words, direct competitors who offer the same sort of products fulfil the same customer needs and target the same audience.

competitive intelligence

Secondary Competitors

Next, expand your analysis to identify secondary competitors. These are businesses that offer a similar product and service to your venture, they fulfil the same customer need but cater to a different audience.

For example, as a mobile laser tag business secondary competitors could include mobile bounce houses (jumping castles) as they cater for a younger audience. As a forest laser tag biz, your secondary competitor might be paintball or airsoft fields. For an indoor laser tag arena consider your local bowling alley.

These businesses may not be identical to your offerings but are still competing for the same entertainment dollars. In fact, this is why many paintball fields add laser tag and why game truck businesses offer both laser tag and yard games! It’s a way to expand their audience and capture more market share.

Indirect Competitors 

Taking it a step further, explore the world of indirect competitors. 

These businesses are serving similar audiences but offer completely different products or services. Escape rooms, cinemas, or theme parks like Disneyland could fall into this category. 

They might not be offering live-action gaming, but they are competitors in the broader entertainment landscape. 

They too are vying for your customers' entertainment dollars.


Building Your Competitor List 

The first step in mastering competitor analysis is to compile a list of all the competitors within a 30-minute drive of your service area.

A comprehensive list will serve as the foundation for your research and insights. If you can learn from your competitors then you can differentiate your brand and offer. 

I recommend analyzing at least 3 competitions, in-depth, one in each category.

  • Direct
  • Secondary
  • Indirect.
your mission
Just like in the video game Civilization you need to take your time as a spy to build up your intelligence. Choose the most successful businesses, in each category, in your city.

Here's how to do it.

  1. Identify the Top Competitors: Begin by identifying the most successful businesses in your city. A simple search on Google, such as "laser tag + your city" (in incognito mode, of course!), can reveal local competitors.
  2. Use Google Trends: Track the popularity of relevant keywords like "laser tag" over time using Google Trends. This can help you understand the industry's overall trends and demand. Google Trends can also show what is “rising” and patterns in your local area.
  3. Investigate Competitor’s Financials: While private or small businesses may not publish their revenue figures, you can often gather insights from press releases, podcasts featuring founders, or industry news. Try searching for "business name + revenue" to see what you can find.
  4. Analyze Their Website and Marketing Collateral: Scrutinize their website and other marketing materials. Look at the design, messaging, and overall user experience. Investigate their monthly website traffic, as this can indicate their online presence's strength. A business with 100 unique visitors a month is not likely to be doing as well as one with 10,000 visitors a month. Follow the trail of their digital dust.
  5. Check Customer Reviews: Examine customer reviews on their site and platforms like Google Business Profile and Facebook Reviews. These reviews can offer valuable insights into customer satisfaction and areas for improvement.
  6. Use Competitive Analysis Tools: Tools like Ubersuggest or SimilarWeb can help you compare your website's performance to that of your competitors. Assess factors like time on site and keyword rankings.
  7. Pricing and Booking Requirements: Compare your ticket prices and booking policies. Do they have a minimum number of people required to book? Understanding their pricing structure can help you set competitive rates. Check out my blog “How much to charge for a laser tag ticket” for more on what to charge for your tickets.
  8. Advertising and Promotions: Investigate the advertising strategies of your competitors. Tools like SpyFu or the Meta Ad Library can provide insights into the ads they are running. If a particular ad has been running consistently, it might be a clue that it’s working for them.
  9. Social Media Analysis: Explore their social media presence. Analyze the type of content they post and the engagement it receive. Are people liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts? This can help you gauge their social media effectiveness.
  10. Employee Information: If available, check LinkedIn company profiles to find information about the number of employees each competitor has. This can give you an idea of their organizational size and resources.
  11. Subscription and Engagement: Subscribe to their opt-in or newsletter, if they have one. If you don’t want to use your real name, you can create a new GMAIL account. It's a classic spy trick. This will provide insights into their email marketing strategy and customer engagement efforts.
  12. In-Person Experience: Book a visit to your competitors' battlefields or arenas and experience their laser games firsthand. If nothing else this is a good excuse to book the Disneyland holiday you’ve always wished for!! It may be clandestine, but it allows you to evaluate their booking process, upsell opportunities, staff professionalism, facilities, signage, parking, and payment options. This personal experience can reveal key areas for improvement.

Using Competitor Insights to Excel

Once you have gathered intelligence on your competitors, it's time to formulate strategies to outperform them.

Consider how you can differentiate your brand and offerings, improve customer experiences, and provide more value to your target audience.

This is not a once-off job; stay vigilant. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process. 

Analyze your main competitors and their progress quarterly or bi-annually. Regularly revisit your main competitors to stay aware of their developments and continuously find ways to stay ahead.

what is competitive intelligence?
It’s not always a battle. Consider collaborating with competitors when it makes sense. Cross-promotion and partnerships can be mutually beneficial, expanding your reach and enhancing the overall experience for your customers.


In the battlefield sports industry, knowledge is power. By mastering competitor analysis and using the insights to refine your strategies, you can position your business for success and ultimate victory in the competitive landscape.

This is about winning the war for your customers' hearts and loyalty. Competitor analysis is your tactical advantage, allowing you to be one step ahead of the competition, adapt to changes in the market, and consistently deliver an outstanding experience to your customers.

Take your time to develop your tradecraft.

Remember, just like a skilled spy, it takes time and patience to build your intelligence, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

So, take the first step today. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to start your competitor analysis, implement improvements, and never stop refining your strategies.

The battlefield is ever-changing, and victory goes to those who are vigilant, adaptable, and willing to invest in their success.

Competitor analysis is your blueprint for triumph in the world of Battlefield Sports.

It's time to claim your victory!

New to the Live-Action Gaming biz? Avoid these 7 rookie mistakes that can cripple a battlefield business in their first year.