There’s a wealth of information to be found online when you’re researching your market sector. Most sectors have national trade organisations, journals and associations which collate and publish useful information. If you run a shop, for example, Retail Week publishes news and analysis, and the British Retail Consortium produces reviews and analyses of different aspects of the retail sector.
Locally, your own town or county will have a Chamber of Commerce. Chambers organize networking events and business advice sessions, which are often a great opportunity for research and information gathering.
You can also gain useful information on the major players in a sector by reading their public financial reports and forecasts.
The advantage of doing this kind of research helps you firm up a robust business plan, which is vital to planning the direction of your venture.
Market analysis is a vital part of starting a business and of writing a business plan. Any potential investor will be looking for evidence that you understand the market.
Your business plan needs to define not just the products or services you want to sell, but how you intend to achieve success. In order to do this you need to have carefully analysed who your customers and competitors will be. You need to think about how you can exploit a gap in the market, or steal customers from the competition. You should also consider what response your actions might trigger from your competitors, and how you intend to stay one step ahead.