Your business plan will include a Market Analysis section. This is the portion of the plan that will require the most research; rightfully so, since it will be a true indicator of whether you have a viable business or not.
The business plan Market Analysis will include:
- Clearly define your industry or market. Provide statistics of the size of the market. You should also document any trends or cycles and a forecast for future growth or decline.
- Pinpoint your target market. You should get as detailed as possible in defining your customer demographics. Narrow it down to age group, gender, income, lifestyle and locale. The more you understand your consumers, the better. Be sure to include any supporting statistics available in the appendices section of the business plan. Your market analysis should also indicate any motivating factors that will trigger your customers to purchase your products.
- Market test results. Whether it be customer surveys or pols, you should have concrete statistics to support your industry research. In this market analysis section you should highlight the end results but the full details of the test should be available in the appendices section for further investigation by the reader.
- Turnaround Time or Lead Time should be clearly defined. Indicate how long will it take to fulfill your orders or deliver the product to the customer. Are you capable of handling volume orders?
- Discuss the barriers or road blocks you anticipate when creating a place for your product in the market and how you will overcome them. You need to briefly discuss what your competition’s strengths and weaknesses and how you compare.
The Market Analysis is a very important section of your business plan. It may be well worth your while to solicit the aid of a market research company who is experienced in surveying and poling consumers to help you more clearly define your target market. Since this factor is the foundation of your sales and marketing plans, it is of utmost importance that you get this right.