The first reason to learn strategy is so you understand what competition really is. I assure you that everyone has competition. The fact that some people don’t think they have competition only means that they don’t understand what competition is.
All competition is a comparison. People compare everything, all the time. If no one is comparing you, your product, or your company to others, it is simply because they are completely indifferent to your existence. Even if no one else is selling a product like yours, there are an infinite number of other products that people could buy instead of yours. This is the basis of all strategy.
Can a company remain operational without winning sales? No, of course not. No sales, no income. No income, no operations. All companies must win some comparisons to get the income they need to survive. A strategy is about how to position a company or a product to win these sales comparison.
Customers can only make a choice to buy a product if they feel a need. People can luck into a position when people need their product, but such a position cannot last unless we have a strategy for defending it. People have an infinite number of needs and desire, including the need and desire to hand onto their money. No sales are made unless the need and desire for that product wins the comparison of optional uses for the money. This can happen by accident once in awhile, but all positions decay over time. A strategy is what we use to maintain and advance positions.
Anyone who runs a business realizes this fact of life. There is always competition. We always need to win some of those comparisons in order to continue operating. We need a strategy in order to do this. This strategy must work or we must find another strategy before it is too late. Business is a game we only get to play until we run out of sales.