You might think the hard part is done once you've come up with an idea for a profit-driving enterprise, but visit any
Small Business Development Center
and you will quickly discover that one of the most challenging parts of launching a business is preparation. The Small Business Administration is a terrific resource for providing funding, consulting and introductions but in order to access those resources, budding entrepreneurs need two key elements: a business plan
and a market analysis
. A proper market analysis identifies the geographic and demographic demand for your product or service, examines what economic and societal forces are driving your potential market, and lays out research findings, correlations, and conclusions. Let's examine the key elements of a successful market analysis.