Writing a business plan is not the means to an end. Your objective should be writing one that wins investor interest, penetrates the market, makes money and grows your business. That said, it is essential to know what key elements, including marketing methods and business processes that are paramount to succeeding in any given market.
One of the best ways to start is by researching, examining and cross-examining every bit of information you can possibly find regarding your competitors methods of doing business. But keep this in mind. While there are many competitors out there, not all of them are truly succeeding in the market. Some are just staying afloat on a shallow stream of cash-flow. Others are slowing down, burdened from debt and about to sink. While a few may actually be on shore, well grounded, in the green and growing.
While there is something to be learned from each company your focus should primarily be on those who are actually successful. Study businesses that have a proven tract record for generating target income streams and revenue. Now the big question – How do you access another company’s business plan?
The Reliability Of Public Data
Once companies have gone public they must publish data analysis to investors and make them available through other public venues. Admittedly much of this information is fettered with generalities and inaccuracies. Relying on public data may not give you a true inside view of the company’s business process model or a real grasp of what makes it tick. But it is a start. There are four additional methods to getting to know the internals of a successful company’s business process:
1. Work for them
2. Work with them
3. Know someone who does one of the above
4. Get your hands on their initial business plan as well as any revisions.
Accessing The Plan
While the latter would seem to be the easier approach of the four, there is still the question of how to get access to the plan. Companies document, revise and share their business plans with staff, the media and in press releases. Parts of the plan appear in sales copy and human resource materials. That said, the data ends of readily available to the person who knows how to access it. There are business plan archives that take the time to gather business plan data from companies that have released data over time. The aim is to produce a complete business plan that is a mirror image of the company’s success, revealing proven methods that helped the company penetrate the market, win business and grow.
Learning Competitors Strategic Growth Techniques
The value of studying a pre-written and executed business plan that wins business is simple. You’re stepping into the shoes of business pros and successful competitors who know the marketing strategies that grow a business. You’re learning their strategy, technique and business process from the ground floor up.
Once you have the plan in hand read the mission statement and objectives. Familiarize yourself with the positioning of the company. Learn how the competitor strategizes in order to penetrate the market. Consider the established business process including the various departments, staff demographics, methods of documenting and communicating procedure, the cascade of information between departments and maintaining quality employee relations. Take time to examine the background, education, experience and other credentials of those on the team. Find out what makes that team tick and why the teams efforts work.
Seeing The Market Through The Eagle’s Eye
With your competitors business plans you get an eagle’s eye view of the market and a clear plan to both penetrate and capture various segments and niches. With an insider’s view of the business process you can examine the scale and dimensions of a working business model from which to engineer your own blue print. Designing your own business model becomes less abstract, less complex and much more comprehensive. In addition, understanding the inner-workings of the business process makes it that much more manageable.
So, before you write a business plan to help you market, manage and grow your business, take the time to access your most successful competitors winning business plan and learn the key elements that have lead to its success. In time you yourself will have a plan that wins investor interest, penetrates the market, makes money and grows your business.