Business Planning: Market Analysis

Market Analysis

In the Market Analysis section, gather information about conditions that affect your marketplace and focus on the structure of your industry, sub-industry, sector, market or niche market.

Include factors like market size, growth rate, profitability, cost structure, trends, distribution channels and competition.

The first step is to identify your specific markets and study their sizes, locations and other characteristics.

Try the Market Research section of our Marketing Information Guide which includes:

  • Demographics at local, national and international levels
  • Directories including mailing and contact information for 220 million residents
  • Encyclopedias of trade associations

Analyze Your Industry

Use the Porter's Five Forces model to analyze your industry. With the Porter's Five Forces model, you will identify and analyze five competitive forces that shape your industry in an effort to determine the industry's weaknesses and strengths. This analysis helps you to determine the competitive intensity and the attractiveness of an industry in terms of its profitability. The five forces include industry rivalry, threat of new entrants, power of suppliers, power of buyers and threat of substitutes.

Porter's Five Forces: Elements of Industry Structure

Need help identifying and researching your industry? Try our Industry Information Guide.

Consider Your Competitors

SWOT analysis diagram

Determine your major competitor and review their SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis is a structured planning method that evaluates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization, project or business venture. These factors provide a reference which an organization can use to conduct an analysis of its operations.

You can often find SWOT analyses for large public companies in our databases, but if you can't, you can build your own using the SWOT framework. Consider the companies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth or improvement and any threats.

Need help identifying and researching your competitors? Try our Company Information Guide.


These subscription databases can be used remotely with an active Austin Public Library Card or on the public computers at any of our locations.



This guide was developed with the assistance of the City of Austin
Economic Development Department Small Business Division.