Congratulations on completing another Component and the first part of the Business Plan – Your Business Idea.
- We covered a lot of material in this lesson.
Here’s what we learned:
- We firstly looked at what industry factors effect your business. We divided them into controlling and influencing factors, learned why it is important to understand them, and came up with our own list of 3-5 key factors.
- Next we looked at the current status of the industry including reviewing how those factors were either beneficial or problematic to the industry as a whole and specifically on our business idea – and wrote a paragraph about our findings.
- We then looked at how to identify and evaluate our current competition within our market so that we could learn from their strength and weaknesses in order to improve our own chances for success.
- Once we understood our current situation, we moved on to examine the future outlook for our industry as a whole in order to identify whether or not there were positive or negative influences there for us to plan for.
- We also looked at the factors within the industry that could effect our pricing, and how to come up with some first-draft prices for our products and services.
- Generally speaking, this is the first place a new business owner may have problems completing their plan. It’s the first place they’ve really had to dig deep into aspects of their industry that they may not have considered before. It may even be the first time they’ve considered themselves to be part of an industry. If you had difficulty with any of the activities in this lesson, it may be an indication that you have a little more homework to do before you continue on with your Business Plan. Sometimes we believe we have a great business idea but when we try to understand where it fits within the bigger picture of our industry, we may learn that we have a gap in our knowledge. Without filling in that gap before we launch, it may feel like we are trying to negotiate our way around an unfamiliar room with the lights off; we will learn to get around eventually but it will take longer and we may bang into a few things on the way. So, let’s minimise those accidents!
If you are feeling that knowledge of your industry is a little unfamiliar to you right now, here are some suggestions of places to go to fill in those gaps:
- check online sources like local business resources, websites focused on your industry, town/city listings including Chambers of Commerce and local government
- find a mentor within the industry you are targeting – you can learn a lot from talking with someone who has already gone through the process you are currently beginning
- go visit your local town, city or provincial office and ask to speak to someone from the economic development team
- drop by a number of businesses who are relevant to your industry and have a conversation
- join a networking group either in person or online where you have access to other people/businesses in your industry