At least, not without doing the due diligence that gathers enough information to formulate an impenetrable business plan. If you don't yet know what those are, you're at a serious disadvantage; chances are, your toughest competitors have already thought about them. What wholesale prices can you expect when purchasing food from local farmers? In this section, you will go into detail about your industry as a whole, the market you intend to enter, your competitors, potential profits, and the risks associated with your industry. Defining Your Industry The industry overview for your business plan, also called a market analysis, should define the industry that your business belongs to, the major characteristics of that industry and its major existing players. Regulations — As we touched on above, you should cover regulations as a barrier to entry. Again, if you can, cite experts to back up your information.
It is important to address the past, present, and future of your industry. If students do not have a project, a class case study is available and should be reviewed prior to the first day of class. For example, when looking at the products and services provided by grocery stores, in addition to the obvious answer — grocery stores sell the food people eat on a daily basis — you should note the specialty services offered by your competitors, such as freshly prepared hot meals, grocery delivery, butchers, freshly brewed coffee, pharmacies, gift card sales, lottery tickets, movie rentals, banking services and so on. All is not rosy in any industry, so you need to identify and analyze potential risks to your business. Of course, the opposite is true, too. Get buy-in from your team, the business stakeholders, and your manager.
Expert Insight The finance section of the plan is arguably the most important. How do businesses make money in your industry? How will your business be able to compete with their strengths and improve on their weaknesses? Have the number of people in your target market been increasing or decreasing over the last several years? To continue our grocery store example, you might elaborate on questions such as whether or not your competitors have websites, offer online shopping or use store loyalty cards that facilitate data mining and offer discounts to customers. How do food expiration dates affect your business? You not only want to know the history, but also who your competitors are. Find out why some companies thrive while others flounder in. Through your industry analysis, you also need to identify the potential for profitability. You will have more of an opportunity to do this in detail later in the plan. Don't forget to include governmental and regulatory agencies, either.
As you prepare to meet with investors, you start putting together your business plan. They are the little guys who work for Murphy and impose his not-so-likable law. How could this business solve them better? What does the look like? They will also want to understand for themselves the industry that they will be investing in if they don't already and be convinced that your business will be a profitable addition to the industry. Will you stock items from further away? It is important to be detailed in your profitability section and fully understand the cost of operation. Analyze the main products and services provided by the other companies in your industry, and their major competitive advantages and disadvantages. Perform the iteration and track actual time used, and then estimate the next iteration based on lessons learned from the first one. Ask your project manager whether you should estimate work time the actual amount of time required to do the task or lapse time the duration of the task.
Legal, Economic and Political Factors Consider the national, state and local issues that impact businesses similar to yours. She holds a Master of Business Adminstration from Thunderbird School of Global Management. What about new regulations regarding the products you sell or potential tax changes affecting those products or services, such as junk food taxes? Use graphs and charts in the financial analysis section to illustrate the , just as you should in other sections of your business plan that include extensive data, numbers, statistics and trends. Your actual marketing and sales strategy will be included as another very important part of your business plan, however, so as you work on this section, keep that one in mind, and jot down any thoughts and ideas you have for strategies that fit in with what your research teaches you. A specialized product no one else can manufacture? Real estate agents can be a source of information on demographics and population trends in an area. Considerations Successful businesses have ambitious goals but realistic expectations of the time and resources necessary to meet those goals. Logistics To explore , you must analyze the process of obtaining and storing your products and delivering them to customers.
What systems are used to ensure that food is stored and displayed at the correct temperature? For example, because all of your food will come from within a 100-mile radius, your business will be strongly affected by seasonal changes in the availability of fruits and vegetables. You can generate them fairly easily with tools built into and and. Explain the concrete reasons you expect your business to flourish, and lay out the steps you will take to achieve your company's goals. Now you just need to put that into writing and back it up with data. A good plan must also specify how the investor will recover her money once the investment is mature. While the number of beers you can slam or the number of pushups you can crank out in 60 seconds are certainly enviable qualities at least, they were when I was in college , competitive strengths are the advantageous skills, resources, capital, network or value that distinguishes your brand from all others.
As a business owner, you must understand what is going on not just in your own business but also in your entire. When you discuss why customers will select your business you will want to be as specific as possible. A comprehensive analysis of industry specific risks will help you to have a clearer picture of what challenges you will face operating in different locations. Six Sources for Market Analysis Information The Market Analysis section of your business plan is far more than a theoretical exercise. Through this section of your industry analysis, you're given the opportunity to define what makes your business unique.
For example, consider your organic franchise. Put the most important visuals in the financial analysis, with the supporting graphics included in the Appendix. What Goes Into A Business Plan Market Analysis? This course supports and extends the techniques in the. This is the part of your business plan where you really get to shine and show off that awesome idea you have. What does it offer — in-store coupons, weekly circulars, recipes, the ability to create a shopping list? All this information goes into your work plan.