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How can I address, in my business plan, the threat that an established large competitor poses for my business?

By Tim Berry

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Clearly, established competitors pose a threat to any new startup. I am working on a product for which there is a great need in the marketplace. However, if an established company sees my idea in the marketplace, likes it and produces a similar alternative, it would put me out of business.

Yes, you ask an excellent question, but not one for which there is some simple formula to answer. You have to answer it, though, or accept a lot more risk than you'd like.
 

  • Don't make it easy. Capture the market as quickly as you can, before anybody else even realizes you're doing it.�
  • Put yourself in the place of a customer. Why would the customer choose you over your feared potential competition? Why would you, if you were a customer. Work on that.
  • Look for differences. How are you different, better, more specific, remarkable, specialized?
  • Dominate your niche.
  • Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and identify core competence. Use that to defend your business.

You're the only one who knows your business, your plans, your resources .. if you can't come up with a strategy, don't expect any outsider can.

Tim

Tim Berry

Entrepreneur, Business Planner and Angel Investor

Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software, which produces business-planning software. He founded Bplans.com and wrote The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. Berry is also a co-founder of HavePresence.com, a leader in a local angel-investment group and a judge of international business-plan competitions.

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