Operation Business Plan. Let’s get started on your market analysis!
Your market analysis is an assessment of the potential market for your products and services. Information on your market, your ideal customer, and your competition sets the stage for your marketing plan (how to get the word out about your awesome sauce).
This post is part of a series on writing your business plan. Subscribe to my mailing list to get instant access to download the free Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama workbook and get working on your business plan!
Our market analysis will focus on four main topics: your market, your ideal customer, your products’ benefits, and your competition. Next week, we’ll get into your marketing plan and pimping your wares.
1. Your Market
Loosely speaking, a market is a group of people with shared characteristics. Your market is the people that may buy your product or service. What can you say about your market? Is it growing?
2. Your Ideal Customer
Let’s get specific and imagine your ideal customer. Is it a man or woman? What age? What is her profession? Income? Education? Hobbies? Is she online?
3. Your Products’ Benefits
You wrote about your products’ features in the Products and Services section of the business plan last week. Now think about your products’ benefits. What benefit does your customer get from your product? Your customer wants to know “What’s in in it for me?” How does your product solve a problem for her?
Translate your products’ features to benefits. For example, a feature of my photography prints is that they are made with archival ink and paper; the benefit to the buyer is that the photograph will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
4. Your Competition
How does your product compare to the competition? Is it better quality? Higher price? Available in more colors? More customizable?
Getting a handle on how your product compares to its competitors will fuel your marketing efforts by helping you articulate your unique selling proposition (more on this later, for now know that this groundwork will be fertile soil for future sales efforts).
Who are your competitors? Who are the people that create similar products that you admire? List a few of your competitors. Let’s compare your products (or services) to two of your competitors.
See the handy Competition Analysis worksheet in the Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama workbook (subscribe to my mailing list to get instant access).
Compare your business to your competition on these factors:
What other factors should you compare?
Your market analysis is excellent groundwork for your marketing plan, which we’ll get into next week. I’m working on my business plan along with you. How’s it going? Let me know in the comments.
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Image: Ease. Original photograph by Tricia McKellar. All rights reserved.