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Industry Analysis Worksheet

Use this checklist to help you define your position in your industry and identify possible niche markets for your product.

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Industry analysis

 

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.

Instructions:

  • 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.

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Worksheets

Start-Up Costs Worksheet

The following two worksheets will help you to compute the initial cash requirements for your business.

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Start-Up Costs Worksheet:

Instructions

  • 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

Start-up Expenses Amount Description
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
Miscellaneous All other
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
Other
Other
Other
Total Start-up Costs Amount of costs before opening

Capital Requirements: Ongoing Monthly Expenses

Start-Up Expenses Amount Description
Advertising
Bank service fees
Credit card charges
Delivery fees
Dues and subscriptions
Health insurance Exclude amount on preceding page
Insurance Exclude amount on preceding page
Interest
Inventory**
Lease payments Exclude amount on preceding page
Loan payments Principal and interest payments
Office expenses Payroll other than owner
Payroll taxes
Professional fees
Rent Exclude amount on preceding page
Repairs and maintenance
Sales tax
Supplies
Telephone
Utilities
Your Salary If applicable for first three months
Other
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.

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Worksheets

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.

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ConductPersonalEvaluation

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.

  1. What type of business activities play to your strengths?
  2. Can your advisor see you pursuing a certain type of business?
  3. Would you be better suited for a business-to-business sales situation or a retail setup?
  4. Are you good with people, a good public speaker?
  5. Are you detail-oriented?
  6. Can you afford to run a business?
  7. Can you afford to fail?
  8. 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.

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Worksheets

Competitor Analysis Worksheet

This worksheet will help you define your competitors, pin-point their present position and outline their strengths and weaknesses.

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Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis Worksheet

Competitors are companies that make products or perform servicessimilar to yours (e.g. you deliver complete dinners, and so do they),make products or perform services that can be substituted for yours(e.g. delivery of pizza or Chinese food), and make products or performservices that are analogous to yours (e.g. ready-made deli take-awaysfrom supermarkets).

Instructions:

  • Fill in the following table aboutyour competitors.
  • You may need to create additional tables to haveenough room for all your major competitors.
Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C
Where is your competitor located?
What are your competitor’s annual sales?
Who are the major managers and members of the board?
Is the company owned or in partnership with any other corporations?
What are the competitor’s strengths?
What are their weaknesses?
What is the company’s product line?
How do the products compare to yours, in terms of functionality, appearance and any other criteria?
What is their price structure?
What are the company’s marketing activities?
What are the company’s supply sources for products?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of their sales literature?
Is the company expanding or cutting back?

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