At this point in your journey of writing your business plan you have written down your ideas on your unique selling proposition, and have written down your company description. It is now time to get started on developing your market analysis.
We are using the Small Business Administration's (SBA) website on writing a business plan as our framework in writing a landscaping business plan. We are trying to provide a landscape industry context to questions that are posed by the SBA so you can have a business plan you can constantly refine and improve.
In the market analysis section we are going to try to provide information about the landscape industry and any research we may have compiled to be able to make other parts of the business plan meaningful.
If you have taken the time to review the SBA article on market analysis you have noticed that this section can go pretty deep with specific questions. The more specific you can get with your answers to these questions the more robust your business plan will become.
The first step you need to take is narrow down your focus on the market you want to compete in. You need to try to be as narrow as possible in this question. As the SBA points out, "many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets."
The landscape industry is a broad term for a very wide range of products and services. Inside this wide range of products and services are many areas which require various levels of skill sets, equipment requirements, license and regulation concerns and more. Consider the differences between irrigation systems and herbicides, or the differences in landscape design elements and plant and soil science.
The more narrowly you can focus, the better your chances are of building a focused business plan. What makes it more difficult for people writing business plans within the landscape industry is that most of the companies which participate are privately held businesses and finding consolidated information about the industry is difficult. You will find that you need to make some general approximations based on what industry data you can collect.
Next up, trying to find landscape industry market information.