I teach that you should seek to learn from competitors; obviously never copy another business's idea or what they are doing, but you can absolutely learn from their mistakes or see what they are doing and discover ways to improve it. All of that analysis belongs in your business plan: make sure you have your competitors under the microscope and make sure that is a solid chunk of your plan. That is some of the best research and information you will gather about what will make your business successful in future.
It seems to have been put there to fill the need to attribute a certain sum to marketing. Make sure you are researching each point of your budget, make sure that you are giving it context and it makes proper sense within your overall plan.
Production/ Operation plan: The production/ Operation plan should include strategies for the following parameters ; Location and reasons for selecting the location ; Physical layout ; Cost and availability of machinery, equipments, raw material ; List of suppliers and, if possible, distributors ; Cost of manufacturing ; Quality management ; Production scheduling, capacity management and inventory management ; Changes in above in the case of expansion of business.
Research Your Competitors (But Don't Copy!) Every business plan should focus a lot on the business's potential competitors, because research and analysis of the competition effectively gives you plenty of useful information. It may guide you as to where you should be advertising and marketing, or certain strategies to use or ones to avoid because you see they have been used unsuccessfully by others.
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