Many would be business persons make the fatal mistake of assuming that their new product/service is so unique that it will have no competitors. This is rarely the case. This is why it is essential to know your competitors. You need to answer the questions:
- Who they are?
- What they offer ?
- What are their business terms?
- What do they charge?
Once you have this data you are in a better position to prepare a more competitive presentation of your business idea. The Golden Pages is a good source for identifying competitors. You can obtain brochures of your potential competitors products which can be very detailed and easy to obtain. Collect as much information you can, read carefully, summarise and collate the relevant information you need.
Your local library should have a business section, which contains business/trade directories and magazines. These can be very useful and informative. Don't forget the Internet, if used properly, can be a wonderful way to research your business idea and source prospective customers. Nowadays many businesses, both large and small, have web sites, which give very detailed information on their products, operations, costs and even customers. If you have not got access to the Internet at home, then use your local library, Internet cafes or even friends.
At this stage you should have a good deal of information which needs to be analysed and studied carefully. Always remember information is the key to answer questions but is only as good as the use you make of it.