How to Write a Business Plan
Assess a Case Study 

Let's take a look at the Market Analysis section of a business plan for Steep Brew, a coffee shop that plans to open in a small, Midwestern college town. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential investor in the coffee shop and look at the Market Analysis with a critical eye.

Take a moment to read Steep Brew's Market Analysis and to respond to the following questions. You may want to print the document for your reference.

An Investor's Perspective
"After reading your Market Analysis, I should be able to step out of my office and point to one of your customers."

Question 1: What do you think of the competitive analysis presented by Steep Brew? Based on the market analysis, what is Steep Brew's competitive advantage?

Click the arrow beside your choice below to get feedback.

Choice 1: The Market Analysis identifies all of Steep Brew's direct and indirect competitors and convincingly describes an underserved market—cash-strapped college students. Steep Brew plans to offer the benefits important to this market—inexpensive coffee and a relaxed, social atmosphere.

Choice 2: While Steep Brew's Market Analysis examines most of Steep Brew's competitors, it seems to overlook some potential competitors—such as brew-at-home coffee and sandwich shops. Because of this oversight, Steep Brew does not present a clear competitive advantage in the Market Analysis. I'm not persuaded that Steep Brew would offer any unique features and benefits to its customers.