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Step One: A Word About Marketing


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.

Strengths

*20-years of experience volunteering with animal rescue groups;
*Strong references

Weaknesses

*No experience in accounting, computers or other skills needed to run a business

Opportunities

*People work long hours & travel & need a reliable person to take care of their pets while they're away.

Threats

*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.


Next: Conclusion >>>


 

For more information, contact:
 

Pat Killette
Small Business Center Director
(919) 209-2015
pwkillette@johnstoncc.edu
 
 
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