Ethan

 
 What are the best three things you learned so far in this class? Elaborate with some level of detail. 
Students response ( use name )
 
Three Key Learnings in Developing Business Plan

Market analysis is a key component to marketing strategy

Understanding the market you are entering really helps to identify opportunities and key demographics your business seeks to target.  Research conducted around population growth trends and industry growth trends has helped to identify a specific location for acquisition of a storage unit facility.  Looking into data around characteristics of typical renters, i.e. residential dwellers and military personnel, helps in developing marketing strategies to target these specific demographics.  Additionally, including further data in market analysis to include average household income and average monthly mortgage payment or rent, helps to understand the discretionary income a community may have, a strong indicator for establishing appropriate pricing.

Industry competition helps to formulate plan

Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of market competition can really assist in the overall development of a business plan.  Analyzing a competitor’s strengths can give insight into what strategies to emulate, while acknowledging their weaknesses helps to avoid pitfalls or implement measures to combat these elements.  Additionally, knowing the competition well can help to identify your organization’s core competencies, which can set you apart from your competitors.  Having strong foundational core competencies can lead to competitive advantages with the market. 

Financial Analysis: All models are wrong, some are good.

Preparing financials for a business plan are crucial in attracting potential investors and or lenders.  Being as accurate as possible can be the difference in gaining the necessary financing you require to start your business.  It also is a great indicator as to the overall potential of your business and whether the endeavor is even worth it.  With that said, it is important to recognize the financial projections are not always as accurate as you intend them to be.  I was recently told a great quote that states, “All models are wrong, some are good.”  This is true with the projected financials within a business plan.  While we all want to create successful and profitable businesses, there are a lot of external factors which can influence this capability.  Our global economy is facing such an event now with the COVID-19 pandemic.  While truly being a “black swan” event, it can still have significant influence on a company’s financials, which were more than likely not anticipated in their initial calculation. 
One bonus learning for me within this course, was acknowledging how often I use the word “that” in writing.  While I thought it was a necessary part of the sentence structure, it can often be omitted without any loss of meaning.  THAT’S INCREDIBLE!

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