If you are a small business owner, it’s beneficial to analyze how you’re performing within your business’ market. A market opportunity analysis will do exactly that — through a marketing opportunity analysis, you can examine what things are going smoothly when it comes to your business and where there’s room for growth and improvement. There are many things to cover if you’re looking to conduct a thorough analysis.
Marketing Analyses can be conducted at any stage of a business. It’s never too late to do a market analysis on a business that’s well-established. And keep in mind, this isn’t a one-time thing — a marketing analysis to seek out new opportunities can be done on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis; whatever you find works best.
Remember That Weaknesses = Opportunity
Before you begin going through the motions of an analysis, remember the importance of a positive attitude. As a business owner, you can’t let the not-so-great things bring you down. When looking at your business, treat its weaknesses as a portal to new opportunities. Looking at problems with a forward thinking approach will help you make the changes necessary to counter your business’ weaknesses.
There will always be opportunities to make your business better and weak points will make it easier to pinpoint where they lie; a positive spin!
Conduct The Analysis
If you attempt to come to a solution before breaking things down and examining them in a step by step fashion, you could potentially miss the important details that lead to better solutions and improvement. While the “big picture” view is an important perspective to have, in the case of an opportunity analysis, following the guidelines (listed below) and progressively working towards your end goal will help your business come up with a more thorough plan for advancement.
There are steps a business owner can take to conduct a thorough market opportunity analysis, as well as an order in which to follow them. The following order will make it easier to come up with solutions at the end of your analysis.
Identify The Economic Stage of Your Business
How long have you been in business? And what does the market look like for your type of business? Examine the trends. From an economic standpoint, is there an increase in revenue within your industry or has it leveled out as the industry’s become more established? Even worse, could it be in the unfortunate stage of decline? Once you’ve determined where your business falls economically, you’ll be able to better see what needs to happen in order to increase revenue.
This is one of the first things learned in the marketing world, and yet, it can be overlooked by business owners. It’s extremely important to understand what economic phase your business is in to ensure that it will keep operating successfully.
Determine Your Target Market
Who is your business looking to serve? An analysis of your market will help to make sure you haven’t lost sight of whom you’re putting marketing efforts towards. If you’ve developed some whacky advertising techniques that haven’t caught the attention of your target market, pull back from these and put your energy towards a campaign better suited for the intended audience.
Some important things to consider about your target market are:
- Hobbies and interests
- Education level
- Physical location
Determining some of the demographics of your audience will help you understand what they’re watching and consuming when it comes to a marketing campaign. If you’ve been going about marketing wrong, at least now you’ve recognized the problem. Your business can move on to efforts that will hopefully draw in consumers.
Examine The Competition
No matter what business you’ve found yourself in, you’re more than likely going to have a competitor. An important part of running a business is knowing about the competition. Educate yourself on what they have to offer and how that relates to your business. What do you offer that they do not? What can you improve to stand out amongst these similar businesses?
If you’re not able to come up with what differentiates your business from another, this is where you’ll be able to get the creativity flowing
Arrive at Solutions and Opportunities
Filling in the gaps with background information will lead to better and more thought out resolutions. While a little bit simplified, working your way up to the solutions will help you come to more conclusive ideas for your business. Taking the time to explore your business and its weaker (i.e. opportunistic) qualities shouldn’t be overlooked. The conclusions you come to should help your business immensely and lead you to the continued practice of opportunity analyses when it comes to your business and its marketing efforts.