Create a Market Analysis

The market analysis helps you develop a process for describing then identifying who will be your customers. The common marketing mix of product, pricing, promotion and distribution are all addressed in this section. Your Marketing Analysis section of your business plan is where you describe your target market. You normally identify your target market after doing a feasibility study. This brief study helps you determine whether your new idea could be a viable business. Remember that not everyone’s marketing strategy is the same. Resist the temptation to simply copy an existing plan. Your product or service may better serve a premium niche while other business models serve a value or discount focused customer. Here are the common sections of a good marketing strategy:
  • Market Segmentation
  • Competition and Buying Patterns
  • Business Participants
  • Distribution and Service
Your market segmentation should include a graphic chart and a numerical table. This helps the reader get a quick view of what you are trying to convey. Show your market segments. Briefly describe the demographics of your customer. Snow where they are located, their age, and their income level. Know your competition well. This is not a section where you include every competitor from every corner of the globe. It is wise to include detailed information on your top two competitors then simply mention any additional smaller competition in one paragraph. Answer the same questions about your competition that you answer about your own market demographic. Business Participants section of your plan is where you mention who supports your operation. Briefly discuss your vendors, your suppliers, and any strategic partnerships. If your business is a franchise, this is also a good place to provide a list of franchisees. The Distribution and Service part of your plan is where you describe how you will deliver on your promise to your customers. Consider whether your product is sold through retail stores, franchises, independent dealers, or an outsourced sales team. Write about your service philosophy. Do you offer a money back guarantee? What is your warranty policy? Finally, remember to keep this section concise. This is not a place to include fancy sales phrases or use unsupported claims. Give the facts. Let your reader decide what to do with those facts. Be prepared to have a more detailed conversation with the reader of your plan. Note that the bigger goal is to get the reader to focus on you, not the document.
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