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Business Fundamentals was developed by the Global Text Project, which is working to create open-content electronictextbooks that are freely available on the website http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu. Distribution is also possible viapaper, CD, DVD, and via this collaboration, through Connexions. The goal is to make textbooks available to the manywho cannot afford them. For more information on getting involved with the Global Text Project or Connexions email us atdrexel@uga.edu and dcwill@cnx.org.

Editor: James W Bronson (The University of Wisconsin, USA)

Contributors: Kellie Goldfien, Ryan Wolford

Reviewer: William A Drago, (University of Wisconsin, USA)

Detecting competitive threats

Detecting competitive threats is crucial to every business. Microsoft has concerns with Google’s growing market share. Ford attempts to avoid losing market shares to Toyota. A local supermarket is concerned with another supermarket opening up in the area and taking its customers away. When businesses are able to detect a competitive threat, they are better equipped to handle that threat. Steps may be taken to ensure that the impact of the new threat is minimized.

Competition is the effort of two or more firms, acting independently, to obtain the business of a buyer by offering the most favorable benefits. Competitive intelligence is the purposeful and coordinated monitoring of competitors, wherever and whoever they may be, within a specific marketplace. Competitive intelligence allows the firm to make informed decisions about the outcomes of its actions in the marketplace. For example competitor A, through the scanning of new building permits in the local newspaper, discovers that competitor B has taken out a permit for the construction of a new building on B’s property. From this information, and other legal sources, competitor A may draw some conclusions as to the purpose of competitor B’s new building and take actions designed to minimize the impact of B’s new building. The goal of competitive intelligence is to detect threats originating from competitors in all their forms.

Eliminating or lessening surprises

A firm needs to closely monitor the actions of its competitors. Detecting competitive threats early allows the firm to take actions to mitigate the threat. Competitive threats may come from a number of different sources, including new entrants, substitutes, competitors, and even suppliers in the form of a price increase. For example, if a local competitor is building a new retail outlet that will capitalize on the industry’s latest trends, the firm will have to decide whether to follow suit. Perhaps a competitor has traditionally held a major sale on a particular holiday, the firm will need to decide whether to follow suit, or give up sales while its competitor holds the sale.

Enhancing competitive advantages by lessening reaction time

A firm that has planned for most common threats will be prepared to move quickly in the face of a threat. Preparedness allows the firm to move past its less well prepared competitors as they devote valuable time and other resources reacting to the threat. While competitors are reacting, the firm can move to increase its competitive advantage over the competition.

For example, a trucking company might plan for an escalation in fuel prices. The trucking company can do this in various ways, but the most common is to “buy” a contract that guarantees the firm the right to purchase fuel at a fixed price for some specified period of time. Should fuel prices increase during the period the contract is in effect, the trucking firm is protected by its fuel contracts. The fuel contracts in turn allow the trucking firm to honor existing quotations and contracts with its customers. By honoring its quotations and contracts in the face of escalating fuel prices the trucking firm’s reputation and good will with its customers increases, furthering the trucking firm’s competitive advantage.

Finding new opportunities

Ultimately, a firm must be able to grow in order to survive in the business world. The ability to grow is only limited by the imagination of the decision makers of the company. New ideas turned into patents for new products, buying a competitor in order to increase market share and economies of scale, and establishing a sales force in a neighboring country are just a few of the ways that a company can continue to grow.

There are three principle avenues employed by businesses to develop new opportunities for growth.

  1. Find ways to increase the sales of existing products to existing customers. Businesses can accomplish this goal by finding new applications for the use of existing products by current customers. This process is known as market penetration .
  2. Market development is the process of finding new customers for the firm’s existing products. There are two choices for market development, the firm can look to new geographic markets or the firm can turn to a new demographic market. For example, a firm that sold exercise equipment that traditionally targeted the 18-34 year-old male demographic might find that they could sell the same equipment to a 16-32 year-old female demographic. The only new cost the firm would incur is the cost of marketing existing products to the new demographic.
  3. Product development is the process of creating new products for customers. Product development is often accomplished by asking customers what types of products would make their job easier. Once a viable need is established, the firm can develop a product to meet that need.

Very few firms can afford to stand still for long. Competitors are constantly looking for opportunities and those opportunities missed by your firm, will not be missed by all your competitors. Complacency in today’s business environment will quickly lead to years of dedicated work being usurped by competitors.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
what does it mean business eco system?
Mohammed Reply
what is business
Abdul Reply
how can i know my business best resources, cheap and good quality
cabdi Reply
vikash rawat
jagvir Reply
entrepreneurial mobility
Manish Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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