Step One: Your Final Decision: Analyzing the Facts
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
If the word "Analysis" makes you shudder and recall hated classes in science or math: relax. Analysis is just a way to make sense out of research. Analysis helps you figure out the answers to the questions you had when you started your research.
Your Business Decision
Look at the list of things you wrote down before you started your research. If you were uncertain about the type of business you wanted to operate, start with your list of questions. Now look at what you wrote down about your skills, interests and past experience. Compare your personal expertise and passion to information you gathered about different industries and opportunities. By comparing your questions (what you didn't know) to the answers (information you gathered during the research process), you should be able to come up with a viable business that you would be both interested in starting and qualified to start.
By looking at the secondary data and primary data (if needed) that you collected about your potential customers, you will be able to get a clear idea of who will be interested in buying your product or service. Knowing your customers will help you decide if your business idea will work because you will know if you have enough buyers to be profitable. Knowing your customers will also help you later when you put together a marketing plan for your business. A brief form is attached here; once you fill it out, you should know exactly who your customers will be.
The information you gathered on your competitors is invaluable. From it, you can find ideas about what you should charge for your product or service, how you should market your business, where you should locate your business, any area not addressed by the competition in which you could specialize, and if the competition is too fierce in your industry. If you decide that your industry is already choked with competitors, try to come up with a niche or specialty, or start the research process again, choosing a different business. A brief form is attached here; it should help you put your research and thoughts together about your competition.
Your Business Location
Again, your research should direct this decision. After completing your research, you will know where your competitors are located; the cost versus the benefit of operating in different locations; and any rules, regulations and incentives for locating in a certain area. Armed with this knowledge, you can evaluate the pros and cons of different areas, and decide where to locate your business.
|For more information, contact:|
Community Programs Coordinator
Director of Small Business and Economic Development Programs