A business plan can be as simple as a few notes scrawled on a paper napkin, or it can be a 40-page document with multiple sections and subsections describing every minute detail of a company’s operations, products and finances.Writing an effective business plan is easier if you take time before starting the writing process to conduct your research and gather the information you will need to incorporate into it.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.
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.
Becoming a member of a competitor’s mailing list to receive promotional material and updates on new products and pricing is a quick and easy source of information.
The information gathered about competitors might not seem like much when looked at separately, but when viewed as a whole, it can be mosaic-like in what it reveals about your competition.
When used as part of the process of creating an easy business plan, product features comparison data can provide information that is critical to making marketing decisions.
The first thing you should do is purchase or acquire your competitor’s product.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.Where an industry analysis establishes the scope of the marketplace, a market analysis tells a business owner if a market within a particular industry will be profitable for a company’s product.A competitor analysis is a process in which a business obtains information to identify and learn more about key competitors in order to be able to predict how the competition will react.A product feature comparison allows you to compare your company’s product with products produced by competitors.Unlike a competitor analysis that allows you to determine how your business measures up to competing businesses, product feature comparisons limit their focus to the products themselves.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.You will obtain sufficient information on your industry from the five forces analysis to formulate long- and short-term strategies to incorporate into your business plan.A business plan for startup companies will benefit from an industry analysis that provides ownership with information to make decisions and formulate policy in certain key areas.