Industry Analysis Checklist
Use this checklist to help you define your position in your industry and identify possible niche markets for your product. This information will be critical for the Industry Analysis section of your business plan.
- Ensure you have the answers and back-up research for the following questions:
|Are there any new competitors in the arena? Does everyone think this is a hot idea?|
|Have any gone out of business recently? Why?|
|If there have been no new entries in the market, is it because there are fatal flaws with the concept, or because you are the first with a new idea? Have you have figured out how to overcome problems others didn’t solve?|
|Are there a small number of competitors for a large market, or a large number for a small market?|
|If all the other competitors are large companies, can you fit in a small but profitable niche, or do you have the capital to compete head-to-head? Are you at risk of being attacked by large, established corporations?|
|If there had been no recent innovation in your market, is it because the profit margins aren’t there to make it profitable, or because the corporations are getting lazy and staid and giving you a legitimate opportunity?|
|Is there room for improvement in the quality of service given to the market (for example, the Postal Service), which will give a new/small company an edge?|
|What is the history of your market? New markets, like microwaveable foods when microwaves were first invented, grow and change quickly. Old markets,like radio manufacturing, may be more difficult to enter. In an old market you must have a new idea, a real edge. In a new market, you need to be fast.|
Start-Up Costs Worksheet
The following two worksheets will help you to compute the initial cash requirements for your business.
Start-Up Costs Worksheet:
- These two worksheets list the things you need to consider whendetermining your start-up costs.
- The first worksheets includes the one-time initialcosts needed to open your doors.
- The second worksheet covers ongoing costs you’ll face eachmonth.
Capital Requirements: One-Off Start-Up Expenses
|Advertising||Promotion for opening the business|
|Starting inventory||Amount of inventory required to open|
|Building construction||Amount per contractor quote and other|
|Cash||Amount needed for the cash register|
|Decorating||Estimate based on quote if appropriate|
|Deposits||Check with utility companies|
|Fixtures and equipment||Use actual quotes|
|Insurance||Quote from insurance agent|
|Lease payments||Fee to be paid before opening|
|Licenses and permits||Check with city or municipal offices|
|Professional fees||Include CPA, attorney, etc.|
|Remodeling||Use contractor quotes|
|Rent||Fee to be paid before opening|
|Services||Cleaning, accounting, etc.|
|Signs||Use contractor quotes|
|Supplies||Office, cleaning, etc. supplies|
|Unanticipated expenses||Include an amount for the unexpected|
|Total Start-up Costs||Amount of costs before opening|
Capital Requirements: Ongoing Monthly Expenses
|Bank service fees|
|Credit card charges|
|Dues and subscriptions|
|Health insurance||Exclude amount on preceding page|
|Insurance||Exclude amount on preceding page|
|Lease payments||Exclude amount on preceding page|
|Loan payments||Principal and interest payments|
|Office expenses||Payroll other than owner|
|Rent||Exclude amount on preceding page|
|Repairs and maintenance|
|Your Salary||If applicable for first three months|
|Total Ongoing Costs|
|Total Start-up Costs||Amount from preceding table|
|Total Cash Needed|
*Include the first three months’ cash needs unless otherwise noted.
**Include amount required for inventory expansion.
If inventory is to be replaced from cash sales, do not include here. Assume sales will generate enough cash for replacements.
Conduct a Personal Evaluation
Thinking of starting a business, but not sure which path to follow. Take a few minutes to do a personal evaluation of your goals and resources.
Take a few minutes to do a personal inventory of your goals and resources. Think about what it is that really lights your fire. Passion is a driving force in our lives, and that’s never as true as in business ownership. If you have a passion for your work, it’ll carry you far.
If you need help assembling this personal evaluation information, sit down with a trusted friend, an advisor, your spouse or someone you know with business experience, and outline your resources, strengths and weaknesses, as well as your financial resources. Talk through the concept and listen carefully. You need a reality check here. Don’t necessarily accept what you hear, but take it into account.
- What type of business activities play to your strengths?
- Can your advisor see you pursuing a certain type of business?
- Would you be better suited for a business-to-business sales situation or a retail setup?
- Are you good with people, a good public speaker?
- Are you detail-oriented?
- Can you afford to run a business?
- Can you afford to fail?
- What’s your level of risk tolerance?
This information will be very helpful when you start to narrow your business search. By maintaining a clear focus on your fundamental interests, you won’t be pulled off-track by the distractions you encounter during your quest.
Personal Balance Sheet Worksheet
By filling out a personal balance sheet, you will be able to determine your net worth – your first step to funding your business.
Personal Balance Sheet Worksheet
Byfilling out a personal balance sheet, you will be able to determineyour net worth – your first step to funding your business:
- Complete the Asset Analysis
- Then fill out the Liabilities Analysis
- Use the formula below to determine your degree of debt
|Personal Balance Sheet Worksheet
Degree of Debt Analysis
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