Market Analysis Summary

As business plan consultants know, the market analysis summary is, in many ways, the core of the business plan. It identifies every relevant aspect of the market in which (and to which) you will market your product or service. A good market analysis summary is rooted in careful, thorough research. It should demonstrate your understanding of the industry your business is in, and should point out highlights from the marketing research you've performed. If you're confused about your business plan market analysis, you can learn all about its ideal structure on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website. If short, though, the section must include an industry description and outlook, information about your company's target market, market test results, lead times, and a competitive comparison—all topics business plan consultants can research for you, if you cannot complete the task yourself.

The market analysis section should distinguish the primary market that your business will be targeting. This section should include a discussion of the needs exhibited by your customers, the extent to which other businesses are already meeting those needs (or what is remarkable about their failures to do so), and the demographics of your target group. As any business plan consultants can tell you, getting an accurate picture of the size of your primary target market is of the utmost importance. It is vital to know the number of purchases your target customers make each year on products or services similar to your own. You should also determine the exact geographic area they reside in, and the growth they have shown as a consumer group in recent years or over relevant periods of economic history. Identifying your gross margin targets and price points is also a good idea, as is talking about the media you will use to market your business and the trends and potential changes which may impact your primary target market.

Business plan consultants advise that you also include a section on your competition. This is hugely important because it demonstrates to potential investors that you have researched the market competitors who can affect your market share or threaten the very foundation of your business model. This section can help you pinpoint barriers to entry, discover niches you hadn't considered, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses that will influence your ability to succeed in business. Try to determine each competitor's precise market share, and keep an eye on how long it is likely to take before more competitors enter the market behind you. It is also wise to note secondary (or indirect) competitors.