6.  Profiles of Target Markets

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The Guide > 6.  Profiles of Target Markets

In this section, indicate market size, segments, trends, competition and user/customer profiles. Also, assess market shares and present medium-term projections for relevant segments.

Length & Structure:

Allow up to 6 pages for this very important (and frequently ignored or underrated) section. Use about two pages for a basic/short plan and cover key issues in a series of short paragraphs and simple tables.
Put detailed material in an appendix.
We recommend that you adhere to the suggested subsections to ensure that all key issues are covered.

In most cases, it is very desirable that all detailed market research (field and/or desk) and analysis be completed before this section is written. If research reports are available refer to their detail in appendices or include them as annexes.

This is a very difficult section to prepare especially for start-ups or established businesses diversifying in new (to them) markets. These difficulties will be compounded, due to an absence of any reliable data or evidence of likely demand, for businesses entering completely new markets or launching radically new offerings. Nonetheless, this section is critical as it underwrites the business plan and demonstrates that the promoters have done their homework and know their marketplaces (at least as well as the incumbent players or other new entrants). If this section is unclear, vague or superficial, it begs the question as to whether there might be any real, sustainable demand for the proposed offerings.

If several disparate markets are being targeted, subdivide each of the subsections within this main section to cover these markets as illustrated in 6.1 General Background. Alternatively, set the first subsection to refer to “6.1. Market Aaaa” and then use sub-subsections to cover key issues like:

6.1.1. General Background

6.1.2. Size. Segments & Trends

6.1.3. Review of Competition

6.1.4. Customers/Users

6.1.5. Medium-Term Projections

6.1.6. Review of Market Potential

Repeat this for “6.2. Market Bbbbb” etc. and add a final main section as “6.X Overall Review” that summarizes the individual market reviews.

When you have completed this section, you should revisit 3. Mission, Strategies etc. and critically examine and challenge its contents based on the results of your market research.

For latest information, see the Target Markets section in the Business Plan Guide at http://www.planware.org/gmarkets.htm


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