I need a discussion done for week 6 a a response to 2 other classmates for my NEW BUSINESS VENTURES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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JWI 575 RTC – Week 6 Lecture Notes (1188) Page 1 of 5

JWI 575
New Business Ventures and Entrepreneurship

Week Six Lecture Notes

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 575 RTC – Week 6 Lecture Notes (1188) Page 2 of 5

MAPPING THE COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

What it Means

As you refine your idea and make plans to launch your new venture, you have to assess the competition and

make a plan to set yourself apart from other players in the market. Once you have identified your major

competitors, you need a way to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. There are many tools to do such

an analysis and this lecture describes several recommended models that you can use. Your analysis will
highlight areas where your new product or service has an edge. These areas should be the focus of your

marketing strategy for the launch and beyond. There are many possible areas to consider, such as location,

pricing, business model, technical features, distribution methods, shipping costs and customer service.

Why it Matters

• Identifying and analyzing your competitors is a key step in preparing to launch your venture
• Innovators need effective models to help them identify their product’s most competitive areas
• The areas of strength of your product or service form the basis of a strong marketing strategy

“Be granular – know what each competitor
eats for breakfast.”

Jack Welch

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 575 RTC – Week 6 Lecture Notes (1188) Page 3 of 5

ANALYZING THE COMPETITION

If you have a great idea, it is likely that somebody else has already thought of it and is trying something
similar. Even if your particular offering is unique, the people you are selling to have a fixed number of dollars

or hours in the day, and other companies are competing for those same limited resources. How will you set
yourself apart from other companies, and how might the competition respond to your entry into the market?

Identify the Competition

Your first task is to define who the competition is. Do you think there are no serious competitors for your
market niche? Countless entrepreneurs have made the mistake of thinking that no other company offers

what they are proposing. Even if that is true right now, such an advantage is only temporary; there will be

copycats once you achieve some success. If your product or service fulfills a real need, as it must do, that

means your prospective customers are currently spending their time and money on a substitute offering of
some kind. How will you induce them to change their behavior? Will they take a chance on something new?

Consider the timing of your offering, the answer to the question “Why now?” Competitors might have tried

before to offer a similar product to your target market, but there may be something different about today’s
technology that makes you think you have a better shot now. Markets can take time to mature. Work out

why, up until this moment, the competition has not seen this market or product as attractive.

Do not underestimate your competitors. They might not have the shiny new product that you have, but they

have some other advantages: for example, customers and customer-service track records, hardworking
employees, products that work, research and development programs, or credibility. If they are a large

company, they also have the ability to sustain a loss for longer than you can. You have to assess each of

these potential strengths of your competitors and devise a strategy for competing in spite of them.

The good news is that your competitors are not invulnerable. They may have lower costs, but they may not

be able to offer better service. Their products may be technically obsolete. They may have disaffected

employees and high turnover of staff. They may have profit pressures and be unable to divert resources

away from their cash cow to pursue new ideas. They may be over-confident and unable to believe that an
upstart small company can unseat them. As you can see, every area of strength in an established company

can also become an area of weakness, if it is not nurtured and maintained well. You need to understand

these dynamics, identify the weak points in your competitors’ arsenal, and prepare yourself to fight battles

that you can win.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 575 RTC – Week 6 Lecture Notes (1188) Page 4 of 5

Assess the Competition

Now that you have a clear idea of who your competitors are, it is time to do some analysis. To succeed in

the marketplace, you will have to pit your strengths against your competitors’ weaknesses. How can you get

started to analyze the marketplace and develop a strategic plan of attack? There are many ways to map the
competitive landscape. To get you started, three effective and recommended models are described below.

The first model is the features checklist. Make a chart, and in each row, list one of your competitors, and at

the bottom list your own company. Each column will represent one of the features of the product or service

you aim to sell. This list might include things like low price, online sales, reliable service, good selection,
quick installation, and so on. Then, in each of the cells of the chart, describe how competitors perform and

how you plan to perform. This chart helps you get a clear picture of your competitive areas of strength.

The second model is the individual competitor analysis. Make a list of the companies that you will compete
against. For each competitor, analyze and write down the following:

Ø Strengths
Ø Weaknesses
Ø How you will attack
Ø How they are likely to respond to your attack
Ø Possible alliances you could build with them

The third model is a simulation activity in which you compete with yourself. If you started a business today to
compete with your own company, where would you begin? What new service could a hypothetical company

offer that you would be unable or unwilling to compete with? What M&A deals would throw you for a loop?

This exercise is valuable because it enables you to identify the areas where you are most vulnerable.

Develop a Plan of Attack

Using one or more of these models to map the competitive landscape will help you prepare your most
effective plan of attack. You might compete geographically by specializing in a region where your

competitors are not yet strong. You might compete on price or differentiate your business through a novel

business model. You could differentiate yourself through lower shipping costs or excellent customer service.

Or your product might have advanced technical features, such as scalability, portability and interoperability,
which make it more versatile than existing products or services. Whatever the source of your competitive

edge, mapping the competitive landscape has helped you to clarify and define it, creating a focus for your

marketing and branding strategies.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 575 RTC – Week 6 Lecture Notes (1188) Page 5 of 5

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THIS WEEK’S CLASS

As you read the materials and participate in class activities, stay focused on the key learning outcomes for
the week:

• Learn how to analyze your idea and adapt it to market

Do you have a clear idea of the areas where your new product or service has an edge over existing
offerings? Which of the models described in this lecture appeals to you the most as a tool to map the
competitive landscape? Mapping the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors is a useful
analytical process that will give you a better understanding of your new product or service. In turn,
this understanding will help you to adapt your new business idea to the realities of the market.

• Understand the benefits of writing a Business Plan

Have you ever written a Business Plan? An assessment of the competitive landscape and a
marketing strategy are key elements of any Business Plan, whatever its format. Just as the
recommended methods for analyzing your competition in this lecture help to clarify your new product
or service’s areas of strength, so a Business Plan helps to analyze the many challenges inherent in
launching a new venture and identify the best strategies for addressing them.

• Develop a launch plan for your innovative “big idea”

The launch plan is a part of your Business Plan and one that deserves careful attention. The launch
is a chance to announce your new idea to your target audience and to highlight its distinctive
features and advantages. This is an opportunity that you won’t want to waste. How can you make
your launch event and launch activities into effective marketing tools for your new venture? How can
the analyses that you did while mapping out the competitive landscape help you to focus on your
product or service’s most competitive features during the launch?

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