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Part 4 Competition Review Analysis on Your Business Plan

Functional
swimmers compete

Every business has a competitor. Whether they directly are in the same industry or provide different kinds of service. The bottom line is as a business you will have to contend operating a niche that is being targeted by other competitors, This is why it is very important to address the needs of competitors in your business plan exhaustively as part of you understanding what you wish to provide to your clients.

Most of us have been cultured to hate competitors, but it is not always true that our competitors are our enemies. In some instances, depending on your model of market approach, you could very well make best friends with your competitors who in future could be your lifeline. If you do not believe me, you need to look at the story of Microsoft and Apple back in 1997 when Microsoft offered to give Apple its software for free. †

As i have said competitors do not have to be your enemies. Rather, they arm you with the necessary knowledge to help you understand your business model, the strategies to adopt and most importantly how to approach the market from your own angle in such a way that you do not drive other people out of business while you could share with the benefits that come from that's in market.

In the other section of the business plan we looked at how to develop the target market, identifying problems and solutions, and the executive summary

In this review we look how one can carry out a comprehensive competitive market analysis here an approach that your business plan will adopt in competitor analysis section which is part 4

a.      Current Alternatives

i. Describe the competitive landscape for your products or services. Do you have direct competitors ó that is, other vendors who provide the same sort of solution to the customerís problem that you do? If so, describe who they are, what they offer, and why customers might choose them.

ii.Donít have any competitors doing the same thing you are doing? That is common with new, innovative companies. When Ford introduced the Model T, for example, they werenít competing with other automobile companies yet. Their potential customers were still spending money on transportation, though. It was just on horse-drawn buggies and other traditional means. One of Fordís early challenges was to figure out how to out compete those well-known alternatives. so those were their competitors

†iii.††††† If you do not have direct competitors yet, it is still important to discuss how your potential customers are solving their problems today. Saying that you "donít have any competition" is a big business plan mistake that is easy to avoid.

b.      Our Advantages

† i. Identify your key advantages over the other competitors and alternatives in your market. Do you have the lowest price in a market where all of the solutions are basically the same? If not, why should customers choose your solution? Is it better somehow ó easier, faster, better tasting, longer lasting, more conveniently located, backed by better customer service? Or is it a specialized solution that is better for a particular group of customers?

ii.Note that your advantages may be different for different types of competitors. For example, imagine that your company offers high-end leather-bound notebooks. Compared to a supplier of cheap paper notebooks, you might offer higher-quality materials, construction, and cover designs. Compared to a competitor making note-taking software for tablet computers, your advantages might be the low-distraction nature of paper, the old-fashioned pleasure of handwriting, and the lack of need for a battery.

Part 4 Competition Review Analysis on Your Business Plan

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