Market Situation Analysis

The Market Situation section of your plan includes research and analysis of your target market, competitors, business challenges, and your company’s competitive differentiators. It should contain your best and most clear description of the current state of the marketplace.
This section should describe your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats you face. This "SWOT" (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) analysis can help you determine the best areas to focus your marketing efforts.
A sampling of the kinds of questions the Market Situation section should answer are:
  • What are your products/services or product/service lines?
  • How big is your market opportunity?
  • What is your sales and distribution setup?
  • What geographic area do you sell to?
  • Who is your target audience (in terms of population, demographics, income levels and so on)?
  • What competitors exist in this marketplace? What is your market share relative to them?
  • Historically, how well have your products sold?

Game Plan

Your Market Situation section should be based on facts – not speculation, guesses or hunches – gathered from research. To get these facts, make a list of customer contacts and key employees to talk to, and pick their brains. Also, gather any pertinent research about your industry from your trade associations and local educational institutions.
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