Unformatted text preview: more important for materials used by manufacturers in volume, where a shortage
can affect an entire production line.
In the restaurant business, competition might depend on reputation and trends in one part of the
market, and on location and parking in another.
In many professional service practices, the nature of competition depends on word of mouth, because
advertising is not completely accepted. Is there price competition between accountants, doctors, and
lawyers? How do people choose travel agencies or ﬂorists for weddings? Why does someone hire
one landscape architect over another? Why choose Starbucks, a national brand, over the local coffee
house? All of this is the nature of competition. Main Competitors
List the main competitors. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Consider their products,
pricing, reputation, management, ﬁnancial position, channels of distribution, brand awareness,
business development, technology, or other factors that you feel are important. In what segments
of the market do they operate? What seems to be their strategy? How much do they impact your
products, and what threats and opportunities do they represent? Gathering Information
A great deal of business information and small business or entrepreneurial help is readily available
on the Internet. Market research ﬁrms and industry experts publish much of their information on
websites, and in trade and business magazines. Reference sites index these magazines, many offer
the texts online, and if not, then libraries stock them. Trade associations publish many listings and
statistics on their websites as well as in hard-copy publications. Public stock laws require detailed
reporting of ﬁnancial results, and stock market information sources compile industry statistics from
I’m old enough to remember when gathering information was a problem. Business consultants
could make money just collecting the kind of information you need for a good business plan ma...
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