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B2. Market Analysis

DIRECTIONS: A Market Analysis demonstrates your knowledge about the industry your business is about to join- whatever that is, from manufacturing bike pedals to wedding planning. It should show that you have expertise in your proposed business, are aware of competitors, and have spent time talking to potential customers and gathering feedback about your proposed product or service. The Market Analysis can be written in a variety of ways- SWOT being one of the most common. 

What is SWOT, you ask? The acronym stands for:
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
Lets look at each of these in detail.
  • Strengths: What makes you and your company unique? How will you stand out from the crowd? What do you do better than almost anybody else? The 'Strengths' part of your SWOT answers these questions and more, informing the reader about why you and your potential business are going to be successful. Some guiding questions to think about here are:
    • What personal qualities and experience do the company founder(s) bring to the company that will be useful?
    • What makes your product/service unique? What will make customers attracted to what you sell in a crowded marketplace?
    • What specific positive feedback have you received from potential customers about your product/service?
    • What other strengths does your new business have? Is it a new way of manufacturing your product? Are you cheaper than your competitors? Are you targeting a new niche of customers?
  • Weaknesses: The opposite of strengths- your business plan is meant to draw in potential investors to your company. Everyone knows that no one and nothing in the world is perfect- in this section you need to admit the potential faults of yourself and your business. 'Nothing' is never an answer here- an investor who sees that will immediately toss your plan in the garbage. Some guiding questions are:
    • What are areas of weakness in the company founder(s) background that will hurt their chances for success. Perhaps you have limited accounting experience, are not good at sales, or have limited business experience.
    • What about your product or service is unattractive to consumers. What would make them not decide to purchase from your business?
    • What specific negative feedback have you received from potential customers about your product/service?
    • What other weaknesses can you think of here? Financial issues? Location? Other?
  • Opportunities: What is it about the industry you are about to enter makes you excited? What makes you think your business can succeed? This section may seem similar to Strengths- but it's not. The difference between Strengths and Opportunities is that Strengths is focused on you and your business(internal), while Opportunities is focused on the industry or market you are about to join (external). Guiding questions include:
    • What research have you done that makes you think your business will be a successful competitor?
    • What is going on in your industry of choice? What is the latest news? How does this news relate to your business, and why do you think you will be successful because of it?
    • What do your competitors NOT do well? How will your business take advantage of this?
    • Are there any other opportunities in your industry we should be aware of?
  • Threats: The opposite of opportunities- what dangers do you see in the industry/field you are joining? These can be specific competitors, a new type of product, or some other external factor. Some guiding questions:
    • What other businesses in your field will be your main competitors? What do they do well?
    • After researching, what is it about your industry that worries you? How will you deal with this?
    • What new trends are happening in your industry? How will you address them?
    • Are there any other threats in your industry we should be aware of?
EXAMPLE MARKET ANALYSIS
Our market analysis shows that Get Moving shirts is well-positioned for success in the fitness fashion marketplace.

Strengths
Get Moving has several strengths to highlight. First, the founding partnership is a well-rounded business team whose strengths compliment each other. This will allow us to undergo an initial period of expansion without having to hire additional employees. Second, our product line is designed to conform to current fashion trends, but with a unique fitness twist. Potential customer feedback has been generally very strong, with one customer trying to buy prototype. Finally, we intend to position ourselves strongly online, with an e-commerce strategy ready to implement immediately.

Weaknesses
The product line for Get Moving will be limited at launch. This is a weakness that causes concern for the company partners, who are already planning for the expansion of the line to include shorts and women's garments. Additionally, though the founders have extensive professional experience, only Jonathan has entrepreneurial experience. Finally, customer surveys show that clothing focused on fitness motivation may have a small customer base. This is fine for a small company, but may hinder our growth long term.

Opportunities
Currently, the fitness fashion market is focused on materials at the expense of style. Major players in the industry spend money on development of fabrics that are meant to enhance the experience of working out. However, Nike and other companies often do not follow through with making the resulting clothing fashionable. Get Moving, after doing research, has concluded that:
  • Despite the availability of advanced materials for workout clothing, most people wear regular cotton t-shirts
  • Those who do wear advanced fabrics do not do so as a choice of fashion
As a result, we see a market niche that can be filled by organic fair-trade shirts with fashionable and motivational designs.

Threats
Get Moving is a small company entering a multi-billion marketplace. Though we strongly believe in our product, sales strategy, and team, we must acknowledge that if we experience success we expect to be quickly copied by larger competitors. Because of this, Get Moving intends to be constantly innovating and creating new fashions to distribute. We hope this rapid pace of change will allow us to stay ahead of external threats. 

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