Building Your Business Plan: Part 1 – Introduction
Building Your Business Plan: Part 2 – Business Overview
Building Your Business Plan: Part 3 – Products and Services
Building Your Business Plan: Part 4 – Studying the Market
Building Your Business Plan: Part 5 – Identify Your Market
Building Your Business Plan: Part 6 – Competition and Industry SWOT
This article is written to provide you with the tools required to assist in developing your Business Plan as it relates to what market region your business is in.
In part 4 of this series, we discussed why studying the market is a key component to understanding the obstacles you may encounter which could impact the successes of your business. In the 5th part of this series, we will discuss the importance of identifying your business’s market region such as local, district, provincial/territorial, national, or global.
Please keep in mind while you are completing the downloadable form found below that you are not restricted by the size of the box that you are able to write in. Each box in the template can be readjusted to fit the size you need.
Section 4. Business Market Identification
Once you have studied the markets in your desired geographical location, it is time to identify what market region you have selected for your business. When identifying your market region(s), include a solid descriptor of the market environment’s demographics, size, and other pertinent information.
Pro Tip: When answering these questions, ensure to separate your market region(s) data, so it is clear to see what data belongs to which region. Once you have separated the corresponding data, then you can incorporate the results into an overall total.
A. What is the Market Region(s) size?
Determining where you want to do business is crucial, especially if you want to maximize your business’s potential of providing its products and services to other market regions. When answering this question, it could be useful to outline what region(s) or location(s) are considered desirable to you and take into consideration what opportunities are available there.
- Total Market Region(s) Size: Local (i.e. Saskatoon only), district (i.e. Central Saskatchewan Area), provincial (i.e. Saskatchewan-Wide), national (i.e. Canada-wide), or Global (i.e. International).
- Total Market Region(s) Population: what is the population size of the total market region(s)?
Once you have decided on the market region(s), simply Google the size and population(s) of your location(s).
B. What are the Opportunities or Threats of the Market Region(s)?
When answering this question, it is important to think critically and consider the future expectations of the market region(s). Do some research and analyze what changes (if any) have happened within the last 1, 5, or even 10 years.
- Is the market growing, stagnant, or declining?
- What market demographics percentage are you hoping to attain?
- What market segments are available in the region(s)?
When answering these questions, it is vital that you cite the sources where you obtained this information, as this will demonstrate that you are presenting legitimate data.
C. Who is the Target Audience?
It is important to decide who you are going to be selling your products and services to. Make sure you are being as descriptive as possible, as using vague or general terms such as “anyone” or “everyone” is a business faux pas.
D. What are the Target Audience Demographics of the Market Region(s)?
This question includes defining age, gender, income, education level, nationality, labour force, occupation, housing, etc. You can begin your research on the CanadaVisa, Saskatchewan Demographics and Stats Canada websites, where you will be exposed to a wide range of information on various subjects, analysis, survey and statistical programs, geography, censuses, and much more!
E. What is the Target Audience’s Lifestyle?
When you are investigating your target audience, stay curious! This will pique your interest into how your target audience lives, what their hobbies or interests are, what their values are, and what they consider to be leisure time or entertaining. You may also be exposed to what the audience are willing to purchase; are your business’s products or services going to be of interest to them?
Pro Tip: Using more than one source will expand your knowledge and understanding, when you use only one source, you may limit yourself.
We recommend digging further, and seeking out other sources by Googling the topic you are interested in knowing more on. You can begin your research using the Stats Canada, Stats Canada Business and Consumer, Living in Saskatchewan, Consumer Trends, Tourism Saskatchewan websites; or speak directly to someone who lives in or has marketing expertise in the region(s) to understand the audience’s lifestyle – try to think outside of the box when researching, you never know what type of information may become useful to your business plan.
F. What are the Target Audience’s Buying Habits?
You can find this information by Googling buying habits and seeking out surveys already completed. There may be instances where no survey has been done or is outdated, but if this is the case, don’t worry! Take the initiative to engage your target audience and complete a survey with them to determine:
- What do they use to make purchasing decisions?
- How do they make purchasing decisions?
- How do they prefer to make purchases? (Online, cash, debit, credit card, etc.)
- What environment or reasons trigger them to make a purchase?
These questions are essential to better understand who your target audience is, and which market region(s) will be best suited for your business’s products and services. Your aim is to determine your best customers, understand their likes and dislikes along with common traits. As you begin to narrow down how your products and services will gain attraction and perform, you will design a more concise strategy which in the end will save you time, energy, and money when entering the marketplace.
With all the questions you have answered, as they relate to your business, you will have a great indication of what market region(s) and audience to target and where adjustments may need to be made.
Now that you understand why it is important to identify your market targets and region(s), please stay tuned for part 6 of this series when we discuss Competition SWOT Analysis.