Monday, 19 December 2011

Markets and Competitors

After working through the previous two posts you have a clear vision and a direction, you know what products and you have some basic information regarding your customers and how you are going to get the products to them.

Now in this post we are going to help you define your market, your companies position in it and who your main competitors are. In order to do this you need to do some market research, there is some useful information here regarding doing your market research.

Once you have gathered all the information you will need to collate it all. You should have information on:

  • Total size of the market
  • Your main competitors and their share of the market (think local and national)
  • history of the markets and the products
  • your customers and their buying habits
  • Product pricing and availability 

The main point of this section is to tell your reader that you know this market, you understand the trends within it and what drives it. You need to show that it is a growing market and how you are going to attract customers despite the competition.

I hear you say how am i meant to do this, well if you have been operating and or working in this market for a long time then it will feel natural and you will know this information naturally. If not then these are what you need to focus on to ensure that the readers get the level of detail they require:

    1. your target customers - Who are they, what is their demographic information, including disposable income and spending habits, how you know they are interested in products and services you will be supplying. Why this group of people.
    2. your competitors - who are they, how do they operate within the market, what is their main customer base, market share, it's good to perform a SWOT analysis on each competitor as well as yourself.
    3. the future - Expected changes to the market, focus on how you and your main competitors will react and use this section to show how you are innovative and understand the trends and what drives the market and how you can fill a gap in that market.
    I will be writing further posts on market research and competitors at a later date so please take a look at those to help with this section. But for now check out this article on Market Research

    An important note to finish on is that markets, competitors and customers are not static entities they change and are very fluid by showing contingencies and other scenarios you are showing the reader you understand this and it adds a layer of trust and believability to this section of your plan.

    Next up we'll be looking at you and your team and how this can be a big part of making your business a good investment prospect. As usual any questions  please feel free to ask.

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