To understand your competitors and the industry, you`ll need to do market research. Invest time and effort and do market research correctly. A business can`t succeed if the owners don`t understand their industry, target customers, or the competition.
Investors, lenders, and others know that a market without competitors is typically a tiny and uninteresting market. And, of course, a healthy, growing market will always attract competition. So, unless you`re creating a new industry or a new market segment, you will have competitors. And, you`ll need to figure out how to beat them or at least to compete with them.
Without a business plan as a baseline, it will be far more difficult to track your progress, make adjustments, and have historical information readily available to reference when making difficult decisions. Creating a business plan ensures that you have a roadmap that doesn`t just outline where you plan to go, but where you`ve already been.
Things like: Could you grow faster with more money? What are your headcount assumptions? How much are you spending on marketing expenses? What are you assuming for payments and collections lags?
People who read your business plan will already know a little bit about your business because they read your executive summary. But this chapter is still hugely important because it`s where you expand on your initial overview, providing more details and answering additional questions that you won`t cover in the executive summary.
There is value in doing an ample amount of preparation prior to creating a business plan: you construct creative solutions to complex problems. Make sure to take the time to do the job properly. Additionally, be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data.