In order to compete in business, you need a strategy.
Don't reinvent the wheel. Let Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy show the way.
Is your industry fragmented, emerging or declining? What is the appropriate strategy for competition and profitability in each?
Interesting ideas abound. Some examples: if you work in a fragmented industry, understand why your industry is fragmented (many businesses with no clear advantage over each other). If no clear advantage can be had - learn to focus on profitability over market share.
Or this: price wars differ in implementation depending on the industry.
Porter also explains how to read hidden signals that reveal what your competition is doing.
In short, this book will help you:
Explain to backers what your business brings to the table and what opportunities it is hoping to exploit.
Be able to explain how you will respond to challenges from other businesses in the field.
Here's a list to other Michael Porter analysis books.