Business & Finance homework help. Geographic Location (level 2 heading)
Target Market (level 2 heading).
Competition (level 2 heading).
Unmet Customer Need (level 2 heading).
Competitive Advantage (level 2 heading).
Note: if you choose additional sub-headings (levels 3-5) ensure APA format is
followed. Past students have chosen to add a S.W.O.T. analysis etc.
Break down and Instructions:
All the information below is to be researched and cited (use APA). Remember, you are
researching this information but you are NOT writing a research paper/section.
Let’s begin, two primary components are the target market (the consumers for your
product/service) and Geographic location.
Geographic Location
Identify a Geographic Location (ex: Half Moon Bay Business District).
Why was the location selected? Research and provide data. For example, Is
your service or product not provided in this area?
Target Market.
Research and provide the below data.
What do you know about your target market?
Start with these questions. Provide the researched and cited data in a narrative, no bullets
or direct quotes. All cited information must be paraphrased and entered on the reference
page for verification. All cited information must be between 2015 and 2019.
Who are your potential customers?
Where are they located?
How large is your target market?
What are the needs and wants of your target market?
What criteria do they use in making their buying decisions?
Use commerce site
The description of your target market should be very specific. Are your potential
customers individual consumers, businesses or both? If your target market is consumers,
what is their demographic profile: gender, age range, income range, education, etc? If
your target market is businesses, what type are they – retail, manufacturing, construction,
etc.? Where are they located? What size are they in terms of employees?
Be realistic in estimating your geographic market area and the number of potential
customers. If you own a neighborhood convenience store, for example, you will attract
customers from a limited geographic area. However, if you operate a specialty furniture
store, you will draw customers from a much larger geographic area. Businesses that have
an Internet presence have the potential for vast geographic coverage.
If your target market is individuals, demographic data from the U.S. Census can help you
in estimating the number of potential customers in your geographic market area. Consult
The most critical step is to understand your customer’s needs and to meet those more
effectively than the competition. Constantly focus on the customer and what he/she needs
and wants to buy, not what products or services you need or want to sell. You must put
your personal preferences aside!
Examples of customer needs that you might serve include convenience, education,
recreation, safety and concern about personal health or appearance. Businesses that meet
the customer need for convenience, for example – very popular in our hectic world –
include fast food restaurants, drive-through car washes, errand services and same-day
photo processing or dry cleaning services.
Customer needs and wants are related but not synonymous. The wants are the customer’s
personal desires for satisfying their needs. For example, all adults have a need for
recreation, but if three individuals each had $20 to meet their need…
One may want to go out to dinner.
One may want to go to a movie.
One may want to go shopping.
Also, you must determine what criteria are important to your target market in making
buying decisions. Specifically ask potential customers when you do your market
research; don’t make assumptions!
In general, learn as much as you can about your target market. The better you understand
your potential customers, the better your chances of success in meeting their needs more
effectively than your competition.
Describe all competition
Provide narrative for all the following:
Who are they?
Where are they?
What products/services do they offer?
How are their products/services priced?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
How do they promote/advertise their businesses?
In identifying your competition, keep in mind two key points:
Your competition may be located outside your geographic market area.
For example, a women’s clothing business competes with similar local businesses plus
Internet businesses, mail order companies and out-of-town factory outlets.
Your competition is any business that serves the same customer need for the same
target market.
For example, a miniature golf course competes with other courses plus other businesses
that serve the customer need for recreation for adults and children in the same geographic
market area. Therefore, competition may include movie theaters, bowling alleys, roller
skating rinks, etc.
The competition’s strengths and weaknesses are also known as competitive advantages
and competitive disadvantages. A competitive advantage is any characteristic of the
product or service that makes it more appealing to potential customers than what the
competition is offering. Conversely, a competitive disadvantage is a characteristic that
makes the product or service less appealing. Realistically, every business has both
competitive advantages and disadvantages – including yours!
Examples of competitive advantages include quality, variety, uniqueness, convenience,
performance and price. Examples of competitive disadvantages include lack of name
recognition, poor location and limited distribution.
Again, learn as much as possible about your competition to improve your chances of
Unmet Customer Need
Your goal is to find an unsatisfied customer need in your line of business in the
geographic area that you want to serve. This is called a market niche.
If you discover that the customer need is being adequately met by the existing
competition, you can consider a different line of business and/or a different location, or
you may decide against self-employment.
Competitive Advantage
What will make your business successful?
Based on what you know about your target market and the competition, you choose a
position in the competitive environment. This decision-making process is called
To attract customers, you must offer them a reason to choose your business to meet their
needs. This reason is called your competitive advantage. Be aware that you may have
more than one competitive advantage. For example, you might position your business to
attract customers based on both your convenient location and unique services.
Glenna Brownell is interested in starting a retail store that offers used household goods,
such as furniture, dinnerware and accessories. Based on research, Glenna determines that
quality and price are key factors used by her target market in making their buying
decisions. She researches the competition and learns that there are six antique stores in
her geographic market area that offer high-quality used merchandise at high-end prices.
Also, she finds three competitors – thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales – that offer
low-quality, low-priced goods.
Based on what she knows about her target market and competition, Glenna positions her
business to meet the customer need for medium-quality, mediumpriced merchandise.
This is her market niche, or unique place in the competitive environment. Therefore, her
competitive advantages are her niche strategy plus the location she chooses near the
successful antique stores that are investing time, effort and money to attract her target
A common mistake is to assume that price is the key factor
used by potential customers in making buying decisions, but
this is often not true. For example, when shopping for specialty services, such as
child care or auto repair, customers are typically more concerned about reputation,
quality and reliability.
Try to avoid these common errors in positioning your business:
• Not choosing a competitive advantage at all
• Don’t assume If I build it, they will come. You must provide motivation by offering your
potential customers an appealing competitive advantage.
• Basing your decisions about your competitive advantages on assumptions about your
target market and competition rather than solid research
• Not being honest and realistic about the competitive advantages and disadvantages of
your own business
• Choosing an inappropriate competitive advantage
Your decision should be based on two considerations: (1) what competitive advantages
are important to your potential customers and (2) what competitive advantages are being
offered by your competitors. Look for a gap or niche.
• Failing to aggressively and consistently promote your competitive advantages to your
potential customers in all of your marketing messages – business card, brochures,
website, ads, etc.

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