Before you can begin writing your business planning roadmap, you need reliable information about your industry, your competitors, your product and your customers for inclusion in it.
An industry analysis, competitor analysis, product feature comparison and market research will give you the information you need.
Competitive analysis serves a vital role in strategic planning, so writing a great business plan becomes easier if you do your research before you begin to write your business plan.
A competitor analysis, unlike the competitive rivalry factor of an industry analysis, focuses attention on each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses instead focusing on the overall competitive climate within an industry.
If the features of the competing product give it a performance advantage over your own, you can evaluate how important those features are to determine if your product should be redesigned.
Another source of information on the product is the internet.Business owners of new startups or established companies can benefit from thinking through and researching such success-determining issues as: From this list you quickly realize that a business plan is more than a document a business uses to get financing or to attract investors.It is a roadmap of how your business will operate in order to succeed.According to Porter, there are five forces that influence all markets and industries.The five forces are: Porter believed that an analysis of the five forces that exist in every industry could help forecast a company’s ability to compete and remain profitable.A competitor analysis offers a detailed profile of each competitor along with an analysis of marketing strategies that can be used to counter position your company to improve market share or profitability.Information for a competitor analysis is available from a number of sources including news stories and press releases, advertising, company websites, promotional campaigns, patent and copyright applications, price lists and, in the case of publicly traded companies, annual reports and SEC filings.You should be able to answer the following key questions about the industry and your company’s ability to successfully compete in it when you have completed the industry analysis: An industry analysis is not to be confused with a market analysis or a competitor analysis, both of which are included in a business plan for entrepreneurs.An industry analysis will describe the products offered within a particular industry and the parameters of the marketplace in relationship to economic, regulatory and political issues.This gives you the chance to evaluate your competitor’s sales process while you are acquiring the product to test.By using the product, you can compare features on the competitor’s product with those of your own product.