In Business Planning, Competition is Good
When developing the competition section of your business plan, companies must define competition correctly, select the appropriate competitors to analyze, and explain its competitive advantages.
To start, companies must align their definition of competition with investors. Investors define competition as any service or product that a customer can use to fulfill the same need(s) as the company fulfills. This includes firms that offer similar products, substitute products and other customer options (such as performing the service or building the product themselves). Under this broad definition, any business plan that claims there are no competitors greatly undermines the credibility of the management team.
In identifying competitors, companies often find themselves in a difficult position. On one hand, they want to show that they are unique (even under the investors' broad definition) and list no or few competitors. However, this has a negative connotation. If no or few companies are in a market space, it implies that there may not be a large enough customer need to support the company's products and/or services.
Business plans must detail direct and, when applicable, indirect competitors. Direct competitors are those that serve the same target market with similar products and services. Indirect competitors are those that serve the same target market with different products and services, or a different target market with similar products and services.
After identifying competitors, the business plan must describe them. In doing so, the plan must also objectively analyze each competitor's strengths and weaknesses and the key drivers of competitive differentiation in the marketplace.
Perhaps most importantly, the competition section must describe the company's competitive advantages over the other firms, and ideally how the company's business model creates barriers to entry. "Barriers to entry" are reasons why customers will not leave once acquired.
In summary, too many business plans want to show how unique their venture is and, as such, list no or few competitors. However, this often has a negative connotation. If no or few companies are in a market space, it implies that there may not be a large enough customer need to support the venture's products and/or services. In fact, when positioned properly, including successful and/or public companies in a competitive space can be a positive sign since it implies that the market size is big. It also gives investors the assurance that if management executes well, the venture has substantial profit and liquidity potential.
Since its inception, Growthink Business Plans has developed over 200 business plans. Growthink clients have collectively raised over $750 million in financing, launched numerous new product and service lines and gained competitive advantage and market share. Growthink has become the firm of choice for venture capital firms, angel investors, corporations and entrepreneurs in the know. For more information please visit growthink.com
8 Ways to Earn More Without Working Harder
Conventional wisdom has it that there are only three ways to grow your business: find new customers, increase the amount of each sale to existing customers or get customers to buy more frequently. But I've seen business owners go blank when presented with those three options.
Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability
The foundation of any business transaction is the promise of fair deal. In complex organizational relationships, it is all too easy to lose sight of the existence and terms of this deal.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture - implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management - loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers.
How To Prepare A Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits
It is always said "If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail" Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal.
Going Self-Employed - A Few Handy Hints
The day you decide to take the plunge and work for yourself will be one of the most life-changing choices you ever make, whether starting a company large or small or as a freelance; from the very first moment of being self-employed, you and you alone will stand or fall by your decisions and actions. You will be responsible for steering your business through all its ups and downs, good times and bad times with no guarantee that everything will turn out right in the end.
Be Like Bill - Think!
Twice a year, Bill Gates goes to a remote island hide-a-way for a week at a time. No, he's not going for a fishing vacation; instead of rods, reels, and lures he takes market analyses, position reports, engineering reports, and opportunity papers.
Business Results - Four Critical Success Factors
Scenario OneDuring a recent presentation, a business owner was given the following challenge. If 10 of his 100 employees were asked to name the top 3 organizational goals for the current year as they perceived them to be, would he receive the same 3 goals from everyone or would he receive 5, 10 or even 25 different goals? The business owner shook his head and thoughtfully responded, "No, I am sure that I would receive more than 3 goals.
Business Problem Solving
Is there really anything as a problem? Does chaos or challenge mean you have a problem? I am under the belief that such things as other call problems are indeed the life-blood of opportunity and the louder it knocks the greater the gain. Embrace chaos.
Cost-cutting Essential to Maintaining Profits
Why cut costs now? Efforts are multiplying to cut costs wherever possible in order to achieve or preserve high profits. The resulting benefits for all of a company's employees should be obvious.
How to Start A Business Plan
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis.
6 Changes You Can Make to Increase Business Profits
I read once that something like 30 percent of all drinkable water gets wasted on the way to the consumer by leaky pipes. Likewise, your business may be letting potential revenue drip away, to be lost forever, all over the place.
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential.
Mining Market Data
With a heightened awareness of opportunity, ideas can often be generated by market research. The National Women's Business Center (NWBC) defines market research as "a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, competition, and/or environment with the goal being increased understanding.
Making a Decision to Outsource: Strategic Constraints
Many companies are reluctant to dive into outsourcing ocean because of various reasons of strategic nature. As far as strategic goals are touched upon, managers are concerned with the following issues:- Risks and dangers of transferring too much managerial power to one partner.
Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives: Why and How to be SMART
We all know that nothing runs without a plan, and a plan cannot run without having its objectives set.That applies to any kind of plan, whether we're talking business or personal finances, university degrees or NGO programs, website promotion or weight loss.
Innovators Role at Hard Times
One Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Imaging Systems laboratory said Carly Fiorina was a marketing person put in change of engineers who cared nothing about the art and beauty of technology. She just wanted saleable stock to bring to market.
How To Kick Start Your Business And Double Your Profits
This will make some people angry as hell, but it's time to debunk the myth of 'Time Management' while sharing the real secret of the super successful.Let's face it, many so called "business gurus" tell us to 'manage time better' or to become 'ruthless with time' if we want to achieve their level of success.
Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace.
Microsoft Great Plains in Advertising & Publishing - implementation highlights
Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Dynamics is excellent fit for service oriented business and in this small article we'll give you magazine publisher and advertiser implementation and reporting scenarios. The system we describe is not real, we are putting together industry specifics, based on our consulting practice.
Why 9 in 10 Businesses are Overspending on Day-to-day Expenses
Experts estimate that 90 percent of Australian businesses are overspending on day-to-day expenses, by as much as 75 percent in some cost categories!Looked at the operating costs of your business lately? You might be surprised at the savings that can be gained with a systematic approach to cutting costs.The easiest way to lift profits is to cut the fat out of costs.
|home | site map|