The Market Review
In addition to the business review, also take a look at the following:
- the size of the market
- the segments of the market
- who your primary competitors are, what your competitors' strengths are and what your competitors' weaknesses are
- who your target audience is, and what their needs are, what their desires are (yes, this is different), what their tastes are, what their buying patterns are, their preferred distribution method, their opinion of your competitors' product, their opinion of your product, features they would like to see in your product
- the seasonality of the market
- the market growth, shrinkage, or flattening
Pay close attention to market segments. Markets have become increasingly fragmented. Market segments can be based on price, quality, product use, or even benefits consumers find through a product's use. If you're a small business, then finding the right market segment is very important. It can help you target your efforts and compete more efficiently.
See How Market Research Works for more information on conducting your research or finding secondary research sources.
Now it's time to cover some important planning elements commonly referred to as SWOT and PEST.