Every company has competition. Go back and reconsider. If you don’t have competition either you do and you’re missing it, you don’t because nobody wants that business, or you will soon, so you should start predicting what competition is coming.
Don´t ever get caught saying — or even thinking — you don´t have competition. That´s one of the biggest credibility killers a business plan can have.
If you really believe you don´t have competition, ask yourself why not. Why isn´t anybody else in competition with you? That´s usually a bad sign. Some say railroads used to think they had no competition before they were swamped by trucks on highways. That story is used an example of what not to do.
Understand what business you´re in and broaden the definition until you see the competition. Railroads didn´t realize they were in the transportation business. Take a step back away from your business plan and think about the problems you solve and the benefits you offer. What else solves the same problems? What else offers similar benefits? What business are you really in? This leads you to your competition.
The only hotel in a small town competes against other small towns and whoever might open a second one. The only restaurant in the neighborhood competes against staying at home, going to other neighborhoods, and the prospects of a second restaurant. So even if you do have that one-in-a-million product that is so innovative that it has no competition now, this is business planning, not dreaming, so start profiling the competitors that will appear in the market tomorrow. If it´s a good idea it will be copied. Who has the capability to copy? Who is operating in nearby markets with advantages that can hurt you? Start profiling future new entrants in the same market.
Years ago I consulted on a business plan for healthy snack foods in small packages. The competition included cigarettes, comic books, coffee, stickers, and a lot of unhealthy snacks. People with limited money spend on one thing or the other. A friend of mine bought used CD stores and tied them together in a chain. He thought he had no competition for a while, but then the Internet boom and mp3 files arrived. Was that predictable?
So yes, the answer is that you do need to include a competitive analysis in your business plan. The only way you have no competition is if you have a bad business that nobody wants.