Creating a Market Analysis in Your Small Business Plan

While creating the plan for your bead or handmade jewelry business, you must devote a section to market analysis in order to succeed in your industry and stay in the race against your competitors. This part of your business plan should outline everything from the trends of your target audience to specifics on your field, according to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). Filling out this section in detail can help you forecast profit and eye potential pitfalls before they happen.

In the overview portion, you need to include an outlook on your primary industry. Be prepared to do some digging to retrieve the statistics you need to make accurate predictions on the initial stages of your business. You will need to determine the historical growth rate and hone in on any recent trends that affect consumer attitudes. Consider the projected growth rate while conducting your research and the life cycle stage of the industry as well.

Once you have narrowed down your field, the next step is to identify your target audience. As a small beading business, your main product will most likely be jewelry. Specifically, women may be the foundation of your target market. Once you have identified this group of consumers, you can move forward with plans on how to reach out to potential clients.

Marketing can help your small beading business succeed.

When developing a strategy to win over consumers, you will need to consider a series of demographics. Your overall target market may be located in various parts across the country, but some people may be farther from your resources than others. These individuals would therefore be more inclined to buy your products if you market them to their region.

Also consider factors such as seasonal changes and holidays as well. Making note of gift-giving times of the year can help you predict how much money you will have to spend during certain time periods.

In addition to creating a basic strategy to reach your target audience, consider trends and demands in your industry as well. Customers are not going to buy into your services and goods if there is not a need for it at the time. This can help you plan out when to market your products accordingly as well. Identifying the purchasing cycle of your consumers can keep you in the loop as to when to debut new products and host sales.

Narrow down the resources you use to find this data. You will have to come back to it from time to time to stay up to date on industry trends. Government documents, trade association publications and directories are all reputable sources of information.

Once you have identified your target market and all current trends, you can begin to keep track of lead times. This can be defined as the amount of time it takes for a customer to receive an item upon placing an order. By staying on top of lead times, you can determine manufacturing costs and how many goods you need to produce to meet demands. This can help you maintain control over your financial situation.

Competitive analysis should also be included in the marketing section of your business plan. Understanding the types of services and products that your competitors are offering can help you distinguish yourself in the field.

The strengths of your competitors can be advantages to you as an entrepreneur, according to the SBA. The most common success factors that other businesses will exhibit include:
  • An ability to meet customer needs
  • A good reputation in the industry
  • Defined financial resources
  • Key personnel
  • A large share of the market and consumer awareness
You can use these strengths to hone in on your competitors weaknesses. If other companies appear to have difficulty meeting customer demands, you may be able to turn this into a strength. A lack of consumer awareness can also give you room to reach out to potential clients in your field.

As always, try to have a realistic view of marketing your company when establishing your small business plan. Setting the bar too high can not only hurt your ego, but lead to the failure of your company over time. Identify the barriers that every entrepreneur is susceptible to facing:
  • The time it takes to set up a business
  • Customer resistance
  • Changes in technology
  • A lack of quality personnel
  • Patents and copyrights that cannot be infringed upon
These barriers affect all markets, according to the SBA. Regardless of the industry you work in, you may be faced with some of these difficulties along the way. Experienced entrepreneurs are aware of these barriers and have built up the patience to handle unexpected situations. As you move through your career as a small business owner, you will learn to tackle these bumps along the road as well.