I often see people split into two camps. On one hand those who almost ignore competitors in their business plan, because they do not want to think about the issue yet and feel so confident they have a great idea for the market regardless. But I recommend not being overconfident when it comes to competitors. They are still there for a reason, they are still around and in business for a reason, so view them with that in mind.
I say that because of course you need to be careful with commercially sensitive ideas, as you do not want to pass your plan on to someone in the pub who then starts your idea before you across the road.
So it is crucial that every time you mention financials in your business plan, to really give them the correct context. When I have worked with clients in developing business plans, there has been a budget or amount set aside for example to be spent on marketing, which has been decided a bit arbitrarily. I mean with no real research, no understanding of what that amount needs to be spent on, and what that budget will truly achieve.
Before the preparing the plan, the entrepreneur should: Review previous business plans (if any) and their outcome. This review will help highlight which areas of the business have proved difficult to forecast historically. Be very clear as to objectives on which their plans will be based. Set out the key business assumptions on which their plans will be based.
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