Step One: A Word About Marketing
Step One: Getting StartedResearch
What do I Want to Sell?
The Next Step
Who Will My Customers Be?
Who Are My Competitors?
Where Should I Locate My Business?
How Do I Finance My Business?
Programs and Incentives for Minority and Women-Owned Small Businesses
The Business Plan
Your Final Decision: Analyzing the Facts
What Is My Business Objective?
A Word About Marketing
Small Business GuideAbout North Carolina
About Small Business Center Network
About NC Community College System
Step One: Getting Started
Step Two: Operating A Business
Step Three: Business Plan
After researching your industry, setting a business objective, choosing a location, and finding out who your customers and competitors are, you are ready to do some preliminary marketing analysis. A first step in determining how to market your business is to prepare a SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats." Based on your research, you should be able to list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that apply to your business. Armed with this list, you will be better equipped to position your product or service in the marketplace. "Positioning" your product or service means finding the right way to promote it, package it, price it, and place (where to sell and distribute) it. A SWOT analysis is similar to making a list of pros and cons before making a big decision.
Sample SWOT Analysis
Jane Taylor is opening a pet-sitting service. After doing her research, she prepares a SWOT analysis.
*20-years of experience volunteering with animal rescue groups;
*No experience in accounting, computers or other skills needed to run a business
*People work long hours & travel & need a reliable person to take care of their pets while they're away.
*The county in which she lives already has two pet-sitting services, both focused on the care of dogs and cats.
Analysis: Jane decides to market her pet-sitting service in a county adjacent to the one in which she lives because the two most popular pet-sitting services in the region do not operate there. Because many people in this county commute 45-minutes each way to Richmond to work, she believes they will need someone to give their dogs a break while they are working. Jane also decides to expand her business and offer care for horses, as well as house pets, since many of the residents in this rural county own horses. Finally, she decides to hire a part-time bookkeeper to maintain the business's records, so that she can focus on what she loves: taking care of animals.
To complete your own SWOT analysis, click here.
|For more information, contact:|
Community Programs Coordinator
Director of Small Business and Economic Development Programs