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Write Your Online Business Plan: Industry Analysis

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National Write a Business Plan Month Series

Write Your Online Business Plan

Industry Analysis

Understanding your position in the industry you’re entering is important to set yourself up for success. Taking time to research each niche, nook, and cranny can be a way to discover more ways to meet your customers’ needs. A thorough analysis is an investment of your time to position yourself well in the industry.

Research and Discovery

Industry analysis gives you insight into the condition of your industry. You can do this by searching for websites doing well in your niche. Compile a list of five to ten companies doing well in your niche. Make a special note of any similarities between the top five websites.

Once you’ve completed your list of industry leaders, identify a list of companies not doing well in your niche. Make a list of no more than ten underperforming or disreputable companies in your industry. Make a special note of similarities of the worst five websites.

Somewhere between the thought leaders and low performers are several companies with loyal customer bases. Identify at least ten brands who offer services that complement your new online business. After you’ve made a list of complementary brands, find at least ten influencers in your industry who would be ideal as a partner to attract an audience to your new website. Make note of similarities between brands and influencers. Revise your list to remove brands and influencers with similar reach.

What to Do and What Not to Do


  • Take note of industry design expectations
  • Be inspired by:
    • Design elements
    • What makes the popular sites “easy to use”
    • Original content


  • Blatantly steal someone’s content, look, or brand personality
  • Copy someone’s style
  • Misrepresent your capabilities to compete with established leaders in your niche


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