SBA Business Plan Webinar – Part 2 of 8

SBA Business Plan Webinar – Part 2 of 8

Developing your business plan divides roughly
into three parts. The first of these is the situation analysis, looking at where you business is right now, what are the factors affecting your business. A good place to start is the SWOT, standing
for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and
Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors
of your business, opportunities and threats are external. For example, a restaurant in a well traveled
downtown area. Location, parking. Reputation is a strength. The chef is a strength, but the restaurant has a small size and no
separate bar. All of these factors are internal. Looking at opportunities, the second location might be opportunity, new competition is a threat. Shopping mall reduces traffic, new menus are an opportunity. Hotel closures might reduce traffic, and catering is a new business opportunity. This is just one example. Take some time get your team together, and do this with your
own business. The most important element of your Situation
Analysis is your own market. You really need to know your market, and that’s where you get amazing benefits
from business planning, even for the ongoing company without the need to take a business plan to
the bank or get investors. At least once a year you should take a step back from the business and look again at the market that you’re selling
to. As you study your market, think about segmentation, which is the process of dividing your market
into useful manageable groups. Most markets divide and the study of that segmentation can give
you clues to where to focus and how to prioritize to improve your business and address your
markets better and more strategically. You can use this simple Market Analysis Checklist to go through the main things that you need
to know about your market. You don’t have to be hiring outside market
research if you can do this yourself. Get on the telephone. Look at the Internet. Study your market. It’s worth it. At least once a year, a business ought to
take the time to understand its market as it exists now and as it’s changing in the future. Understand positioning in your market. Understand the factors that help your customers
position you against your competition for the various factors that might effect
their purchase. Look at this example for breakfast. Whatever the variables are for your business, positioning will help you understand prioritize, and focus. How are you positioned now, how is your competition positioned? What does that mean to your customers? Determine the keys to success in your business. This helps you to focus and prioritize. This should be two, maybe three main points. Points like location for retail, or repeat
business for consulting, the main things that drive your business and
make it successful. Understand your core competency. What is one thing that your business does
really well, that sets it apart from competitors, and is something on which you might base your
growth and your future strategy? Finally, make sure that you understand your
competitive advantage. This may be similar to core competency, and maybe not depending on the way you play
your business. Every business, though, should be able to
explain simply and clearly what gives it competitive advantage. So here we can summarize the situation analysis with these key points you can use to go back
and develop your own plan.

Comments (8)

  1. This Video on Business Plan development, 2 of 8, is an excellent overview of self annalysis of the business

  2. hey i give ya easy way to understand "markets and marketing" its simple, so i
    Imagine a "fish market" where people go to buy all sorts of fish or sea food…The owner sells Fish at his "market" his product he sells is fish.. one way to grow his business might be to ADVERTISE his "JOES FRESH FISH" this is part of his "Marketing" he uses a advertising strategy or campaign to "Market"his business.hope that helps..its not the best it might help..cheers and all the best

  3. Thanks Shawnie2012!

  4. At Last! This is what I have been looking for! I Can do this, I understand this, thanks!

  5. @SeanPas I'm having the hardest time with my business plan mostly because all the business plan books I come across are geared more toward brick and mortar companies while mine is more of a online business.For example how would you say SWOT would translate to a online business?

  6. Hi gamesmaster, The approach for a SWOT Analysis varies depending on every business, not just general business types. Still, performing a SWOT Analysis is generally worth the effort as it can bring things to mind that you hadn't considered before. We have a great article online that applies to every business that you can review at articles DOT bplans DOT com /business/how-to-perform-swot-analysis/116

    I'll send that to you in a PM as well.

  7. Thank you the link you gave me helped alot.Once I sat down and thought about it the answers did come to me.I'm still working on how to overcome some of the threats but the weaknesses portion showed me what I can immediately do.Stuff that's within my power to change.Thanks for your help.

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