Yep. We said "fun." And we mean it. Really.
You see, of all the components of a business plan, entrepreneurs seem to struggle the most with market analysis. The task of writing it can resemble a long homework assignment: you can almost hear your 10th grade history teacher barking at you to cite your sources.
And sure, while the level of research required for an in-depth marketing analysis can be intimidating, a well-written one is a sure way to show your investors or partners that you know your industry.
So how can you make the task easier? And maybe even enjoyable?
Utilize online tools
You probably know who your competitors are, but do you know much revenue they earn? Use the Small Business Administration’s “Size Up” feature to find out (www.sba.gov/sizeup).
Tap industry/trade associations.
Industry groups often publish data-rich reports that highlight various aspects of the sectors in which they operate. For instance, if you’d like to start a tourism related business, then you may obtain useful information from a travel industry association.
Peruse business publications.
For a “big picture” view of a particular industry or market, periodicals such as The Economist or The Wall Street Journal can be excellent source of information. Some content is available online without a subscription as well. For local industry perspectives, the Kansas City Business Journal and Thinking Bigger Business Magazine are highly credible sources. Whether your focus is global or local, a respected news source can get the attention of your audience.
Reach out to state agencies.
In Kansas and Missouri, economic development agencies publish detailed reports on several sectors. Typically, these reports provide quantitative data from a reputable source. In many cases, you can also contact subject matter experts to locate specific information.
Content contributed by Nolan Klouda, AKSourceLink.
AKSourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.