Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Target Group Analysis

Author: Liesa Wieruch

17. July 2019

In order to achieve your predefined corporate goals, it is necessary to work out the needs of the target persons. By determining a thorough target group and defining the personas, you lay the foundation. Here we will explain how to proceed.

Jump quickly to the appropriate section: Creating Basics Strategy for Finding Target Groups Use Your Target Group Potential

Knowing your target group is the be-all and end-all. This is probably not the first time you have heard this sermon, and this article will preach nothing else. Why is it important to know your target group? Look at the next examples for a better understanding.

You want to sell Best Agers hip software solution, in a purely digital way? Or attract environmentally conscious marketers with mobile sales offers on Black Friday? You should notice that these are absurd ideas that lead to nowhere.

These two examples show you very well that not only the product, but also the approach must match your target group in order to generate sales . Of course, as a marketer, you always want to increase this.

However, more profit alone is not enough (that would be too superficial). The focus should be more on customer satisfaction , as this is the core of entrepreneurial success . If a customer is satisfied with the product right from the start, there is a high probability of winning over the customer long term. If the customer is satisfied throughout the course of the sales funnel , he or she will, at best, turn into a loyal brand ambassador , returning again and again for purchases and recommending the brand to others.

Image sequences that visually depict the emotional state of the target group- successful addressing of Dove .

In order to ensure the highest possible customer satisfaction in the long term , it is absolutely necessary to find out detailed information about a market with the help of a target group analysis .

Two reasons are often responsible for the failure of many companies or start-ups .

First scenario: Companies build a product without first presenting their idea to the target group. This means that they do without the test phase and the possibilities to improve their product on the basis of feedback. As a result, they build a product that nobody wants.

Second scenario: Your target group analysis was not established enough so that your message does not reach the relevant target audience in the first place.

For these reasons, you should know who your customers are . Find out what your target group wants, how they make their purchasing decisions, and what added value they expect from a service. Find out, for example, which search terms your target group enters into Google and which criteria play a role in product selection . Based on this information, you can then adapt the structure and content of your website.

"Do it Lean!" is a well-intentioned piece of advice, especially in the start-up scene. Whole companies are even built according to the principle of Lean Management . Ideas are born, checked with the help of the target group, and then optimized. Then, everything starts all over again. It is a never-ending cycle that focuses on the customer needs of every action .

The We Company Story: The company listens carefully to the needs of its target group and acts accordingly.

And that's what it's all about- connecting with consumers to create the most impeccable product possible . This works particularly well if you limit your target group as much as possible . This is the only way to tailor your approach to the needs of your target group. Any additional information you learn about your target group will take you even further.

In this article, you will learn how you can get this information with the help of qualitative and quantitative research and how you can arrange your results on the basis of personas .

Before we delve any further into the subject, we first want to clarify what target groups are and how they can be defined. Are you already familiar with this? Then jump straight to the section where we present a step-by-step guide to target group identification and discuss various methods

Otherwise, we will ask you for your attention again because now we’ll teach you the basics so you can later determine your target group at a high level .

Creating Basics.

What is a target group.

A simple definition of Investopia is, "A target market refers to a group of customers to whom a company wants to sell its products and services, and to whom it directs its marketing efforts." But there is more to be said about this.

A target group is made up of different people on the basis of their same or similar characteristics . In order to make a target audience more tangible, you should try to understand their nature on different levels. This is the only way to create a holistic picture of the target group.

Three levels for a better understanding of the target group:

Individual cohorts share a world view because they have grown up in the same time and have had similar experiences . As a rule, this applies to generations, e.g. millennials or baby boomers. Cohorts perceive their environment differently and, therefore, have different demands on this. By taking a closer look, you can recognize patterns in the attitudes, but this distinction alone is not enough.

If you go one step lower, you can cluster groups of people with common demographic and socio-economic characteristics . You will receive basic data- gender, age, place of residence, income, occupation, position, marital status, religion, education, and interests.

  • Archetypes:

Archetypes are user profiles within segments . These differ in psychographic characteristics , such as character traits, habits, values, motivations, life goals, self-image and image of others, and dream role. It can be advantageous, especially in the digital age, to analyze the online surfing behavior of customer groups. See the following graphic. Does the term "Social Technographic Profile" mean anything to you?

“Social Technographic Profile” dof Facebook and Myspace users (US adults only), created by Forrester .

You'll also want to find out how your target audience interacts with your brand and offerings to proactively respond to consumer buying behavior. Answers to the following sample questions provide information:

  • Did the target group already come into contact with the product?
  • In which situation and in which environment have you used the product?
  • Which channels did they use?
  • Why do you buy the product? What do they expect from the use?
  • What frustrates them?
  • How often do they buy/consume?
  • When do they come back to take up the offer?

Fill-in-the-blanks-method, to get to the heart of the target group, designed by Jobs-to-be-Done .

First and foremost, the aim is to filter out the pain points of your target group . These r esult in needs that marketers must satisfy . Individuals with the same or similar needs are then grouped together in a target group.

The fill-in-the-blanks method can help you visualize the quintessence of your research results in a simple sentence, providing more clarity.

Tipp: You have a free hand in defining your target group. The target group analysis is not limited to the aforementioned characteristics , but you can supplement or replace them with your self-identified character traits. Ultimately, it is you who knows best about your target group. You determine which aspects are necessary to best serve your target group.

Since a company cannot meet the needs of all its customers, you should also ask yourself another question: Which interaction with which group of people will help you most to achieve your goals? Your answer decides on primary and secondary target groups . Your focus is on the primary target groups. The secondary target groups are often not large enough and do not generate the most sales but have great growth potential.

Let's say you find out all this information about your target audience by conducting web analytics and personal customer surveys, but now you're faced with a huge mountain of data. How do you bundle your knowledge and organize it in a meaningful way for a better overview? The solution is personas , which we will now introduce to you.

Why is a Persona Necessary?

A persona combines all the findings you have gathered on the target group with the help of qualitative and quantitative research in a fictitious person. The contents of the results determine the character of the persona. In this way, Persona, as an example person, represents all real characteristics and needs of a certain target group . In other words, anonymous target groups are personified with the help of personas . This is why each persona is given a name (see example of Xtensio).

All known information about a target group is documented on a persona sheet. The viewer should be able to get an idea of the target group at a glance.

Example of Xtensio for structuring a persona sheet.

Tipp: We recommend a maximum of 4 persona per product, project, or similar to ensure a targeted and effective approach to the most important users.

The main task of Personas is to give marketers orientation when designing products, content, and offers. They also help evaluate new ideas. By and large, personas simplify the decision-making process .

The more detailed the persona information, the better effective marketing measures can be derived. Particularly in the area of content, you can offer your target group great added value through needs-oriented content.

Relevant content brings added value for the target group, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

A personal approach and relevant content is what will set you apart from your competitors in the future, especially in times of digitalization and the oversaturation of information.

The purpose of a target group analysis , therefore, is to develop personas . On your way to becoming a persona, you increasingly narrow down your target group so that an authentic image of your target group gradually emerges. In the next step, you will learn how this works exactly and which methods help with the research.

Strategy for Target Group Identification.

As with most projects, it usually fails in the implementation stage because there is no precise action plan available . We want to counteract this, so now we will provide you with step-by-step instructions for a structured target group analysis .

Before we get started, you should be aware of one thing. Determining target groups is an ongoing process. This has to do with the fact that our environment and people adapt to changing circumstances. Thus, the needs and requirements of a brand also change. Just think of the progressing digitalization!

No matter whether you are at the beginning of your business and are just building your product or want to introduce new products or optimize existing ones in an established company, target group analysis is essential .

Now, follow us along the process of target group analysis.

Schritt für Schritt zur Zielpersona: Visual Paradigm zeigt wie es geht.

#1 Name the Target Group.

Current State: Usually, you have already recognized a problem or need of a certain group of people and want to solve it. You already have experience with the target group or not.

Stage goal:

  • Create a first version of your persona/s.

First, you narrow down your target group according to the company goals. Then, you make forecasts about your target persons based on (first) experiences with them, observations, and background knowledge.

Qualitative Tools:

  • Affinity Mapping:

This research method comes very close to brainstorming. Coworkers collect their thoughts and ideas to specific customer groups and later categorize them according to a specific scheme. Use a workspace with plenty of space (e.g. whiteboards, walls) and equip yourself with enough post-its and pens.

Easy-to-understand video explaining Jessie Drumm's affinity mapping.

In the next step you want to control your assumptions and model your persona by asking specific questions.

#2 Checking Assumptions

Current State:

  • Sie suchen nach Antworten auf entscheidende Fragen.

Stage Goal:

You are able to make specific statements about your target group, which can be substantiated on the basis of research results. You have developed a product and a communication strategy. Both meet the requirements of the target group.

You will realize what you want to find out with the research. You test your assumptions and supplement your gaps in knowledge with new findings.

  • Customer Interviews:

A moderator talks to representatives of the target group in order to determine the needs of the other persons and, above all, to gain insight into their purchasing decision process.

  • Test/Focus Groups:

Often interviewees assert something or believe they are doing something they don't actually do. To distinguish words from actions, behavior is tested in action. For example, when testing a product, solving a problem, participating in discussion rounds, etc., the behavior of the customer is tested in action. The analyst notes his observations and then evaluates them according to a certain scheme.

  • Ethnographic Investigations:

A researcher observes the target group in its natural habitat. This is either official or undercover. For example, by taking part in a cultural celebration, staying in online communities (forums, Facebook groups, etc.) on specific topics, asking questions if necessary, and participating in the discussion.

Quantitative Tools:

  • Surveys: Online surveys are useful to reach several respondents at the same time and to quantify the results (for example, from an interview). Good, free survey tools that allow you to evaluate the results at the same time are Google Forms, Typeform and Survey Monkey
  • Public Studies: Universities, agencies, institutes, or online statistics databases, such as Statista , provide insight into studies already carried out

A customer tells why Typeform is one of her favorite business tools.

#3 Investigate the Timeliness of the Data

  • Your product is on the market. You may have been in business for some time.
  • Achieve 100% customer satisfaction.

You eliminate weak points and optimize processes by tracking the purchasing behavior of your target group and continuously contacting customers.

  • Social-Listening/Content Analysis:

Tools like Hootsuite and Mention collect all content (posts) of desired social media platforms based on registered keywords. Find out how people talk about you online.

  • Customer interviews: This is primarily the task of the Customer Service and After Sales Team. You interact with different customer segments via telephone, email, or chat.
  • Online Surveys : These can be used to obtain feedback on the product, gather information about the customer experience, filter out any ideas for new product development, and customer retention measures.
  • Multichannel-Reporting: Tools like Google Analytics collect data about your online traffic, especially on your website. They help you understand where people come from, how long they've been on a page, and what keywords they've entered. This is used to monitor the success of campaigns based on internally defined success criteria ( KPIs ).
  • CRM-Systems : Here, the customer journeys of existing customers are monitored. In this way, conclusions can be drawn about the future experiences of potential customers in order to make them as pleasant as possible. Prerequisite: A well-managed CRM system.

Customer Example: How Hootsuite MEC helped you implement your #GoodTimesOutside campaign.

#4 Categorize & Evaluate Data

This task should not be done at the end. Otherwise, the whole research work ends in chaos. Integrate this step into the entire process and think of the following tricks:

  • Document user behavior
  • Search for patterns in user behavior
  • Categorize recurring elements: How do the individual groups of people differ?
  • Prioritize persona groups: Who spends the most money, spends the most time with the brand, and is interested in related topics?
  • Fine-tuning the personas: Further develop knowledge about persona groups, preferably with people who deal with the target group on a daily basis, e.g. customer support.

Use Your Target Group Potential!

Do you know what data Google collects from you? A lot! Google conducts market studies par excellence and develops precise user profiles based on these in order to target your online advertising more effectively. In their evaluation , they include various aspects that you may not even have thought of :

  • Search queries via Google
  • Data published by yourself on social media (e.g. demographics, interests)
  • Your interaction in social networks
  • The website performance (e.g. clicks, impressions, length of stay) associated with your cookie ID

For Ad Words, Google distinguishes between two target groups : The users with an interest in a product and the audience willing to buy .

The example of Google and its entrepreneurial success shows how elementary a well elaborated customer segmentation is already today.

The online offering will grow over the next few years , which means more data capture options for you. However, you should make better use of the big data trend because, with these developments, the demands of the target group regarding a demand-oriented approach also increases.

So do your homework and ensure happy customers! The success will be seen in your account numbers.

Do you want to use videos to address your target group but you need support with the implementation? Then contact us! We will be happy to advise you free of charge and without obligation.

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How to Write a Business Plan: Target Market Analysis

The Business Plan and the Importance of Defining Your Target Market

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

target group business plan

Conducting a Market Analysis

Polling your target market, writing the market analysis, online tools for market research, u.s. online market research sources, canadian online market research, local sources of market research, doing your own market research.

 Creative Commons CC0

The market analysis is basically the target market section of your business plan . It is a thorough examination of the ideal people to whom you intend to sell your products or services.  

Even if you intend on selling a product or service only in your community, you won't be selling that service to everyone who lives there. Knowing exactly what type(s) of people might be interested in buying your product or service and how many of them reside in your projected area or region is fundamental in creating your market analysis.

Once target market data has been established, you'll also work on sales projections within specific time frames, as well as how prospective sales might be affected by trends and policies.

Research is key and cornerstone of any solid  business plan .

Don't Skip This Step!

Don't skip market research; otherwise, you could end up starting a business that doesn't have a paying market.

Use these general terms as linchpins in research data for the market analysis section of your business plan, and to identify your target market:

But don't stop here. To succinctly define your target market, poll or survey members of your prospective clients or customers to ask specific questions directly related to your products or services. For instance, if you plan to sell computer-related services, ask questions relating to the number of computing devices your prospective customers own and how often they require servicing. If you plan on selling garden furniture and accessories, ask what kinds of garden furniture or accessories your potential customers have bought in the past, how often, and what they expect to buy within the next one, three, and five years.

Answers to these and other questions related to your market are to help you understand your market potential.

The goal of the information you collect is to help you project how much of your product or service you'll be able to sell. Review these important questions you need to try to answer using the data you collect:

  • What proportion of your target market has used a product similar to yours before?
  • How much of your product or service might your target market buy? (Estimate this in gross sales and/or in units of product/service sold.)
  • What proportion of your target market might be repeat customers?
  • How might your target market be affected by demographic shifts?
  • How might your target market be affected by economic events (e.g. a local mill closing or a big-box retailer opening locally)?
  • How might your target market be affected by larger socio-economic trends?
  • How might your target market be affected by government policies (e.g. new bylaws or changes in taxes)?

One purpose of the market analysis is to ensure you have a viable business idea.

Find Your Buying Market

Use your market research to make sure people don't just like your business idea, but they're also willing to pay for it.

If you have information suggesting that you have a large enough market to sustain your business goals, write the market analysis in the form of several short paragraphs using appropriate headings for each. If you have several target markets, you may want to number each. 

Sections of your market analysis should include:

  • Industry Description and Outlook
  • Target Market
  • Market Research Results
  • Competitive Analysis

Remember to properly cite your sources of information within the body of your market analysis as you write it. You and other readers of your business plan, such as potential investors, will need to know the sources of the statistics or opinions that you've gathered.

There are several online resources to learn if your business idea is something worth pursing, including:

  • Keyword searches can give you an overall sense of potential demand for your product or service based on the number of searches.
  • Google Trends analysis can tell you how the number of searches has changed over time.
  • Social media campaigns can give you an indication of the potential customer interest in your business idea.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has information on doing your market research and analysis , as well as a list of free small business data and trends resources you can use to conduct your research. Consider these sources for data collection:

  • SBA  Business Data and Statistics  
  • The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a huge database of demographic information that is searchable by state, county, city/town, or zip code using its census data tool . Community, housing, economic, and population surveys are also available.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has extensive statistics on the economy including consumer income/spending/consumption, business activity, GDP, and more, all of which are searchable by location.

The Government of Canada offers a guide on doing market research and tips for understanding the data you collect. Canadian data resources include:

  • Statistics Canada  offers demographic and economic data.
  • The  Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)  offers market research and consulting with industry experts.
  • The Canada Business Network provides business information to entrepreneurs by province/territory, including market research data.

There are also a great many local resources for building target market information to explore, including:

  • Local library
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Trade
  • Economic Development Centre
  • Local government agent's office
  • Provincial business ministry
  • Local phone book

All of these will have information helpful in defining your target market and providing insights into trends.

The above resources are secondary sources of information, in which others have collected and compiled the data. To get specific information about your business, consider conducting your own market research . For instance, you might want to design a questionnaire and survey your target market to learn more about their habits and preferences relating to your product or service.

Market research is time-consuming but is an important step in affording your business plan validity. If you don't have the time or the research skills to thoroughly define your target market yourself, hiring a person or firm to do the research for you can be a wise investment.​

Small Business Administration. " Market Research and Competitive Analysis. " Accessed Jan. 13, 2020.

Abstract Novo blue background. Learn all about target market segmentation for your small business in this article.

Target Market Segmentation

Target market segmentation helps you market better to potential customers. Let's take a look at what this means and how you can grow your small business.

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arget market segmentation helps you market better to potential customers. It's crucial to boost sales and increase the chances of long-term success.   Let's take a closer look at what this term means and how you can use it to focus your marketing efforts.

What is Target Market Segmentation, and Why Does It Matter?

Target marketing segmentation is where you divide your potential customers into segments. You'll then focus on a few segments (or groups of people) that align most with your product or services. Doing so helps you tap into their needs and desires to attract new sales and increase longevity.   You can also drill it down further by creating a marketing strategy for more specific groups of people  -  such as using different promotions and how you deliver your products or services. That way, it helps your marketing campaigns be more cost-effective, allowing you to spend time only on one focus at a time.   Let's say you have a wedding and event photography business . Instead of spending thousands of dollars on print ads in random publications, you'll first see who your target customers are. Based on this information, you'll then focus your marketing campaigns by placing ads in publications where your target audience is most likely to see them. That way, it'll increase the chances you'll get a return on your investment.  

How Do I Segment My Target Market?

The good news is that you can approach segmenting the market in many ways based on your company's market research. Four common ways are behavioral, demographic, geographic, and psychographic segmentation.  Here's a bit more detail on the types of market segmentation:  

Behavioral Segmentation

This segment looks at how consumers interact with brands and products. For instance, you can look at which platforms your ideal customer most frequents, their social media usage, and their customer journey online.  

Demographic Segmentation

Businesses tend to feel this is the most important criteria to identify their target market. These include age, gender, education level, income level, social class, nationality, family size, marital status, and religion. Knowing these demographics about your ideal customer can help you with how you want to create marketing campaigns (Gen Xers may not understand the slang Gen Z tends to use, for instance).  

Geographic Segmentation

Yes, this segment has to do with details on a consumer's location or where they live. Aside from nationality, you can consider their state, county, town, or city.

Psychographic Segmentation

Businesses can look at elements such as parts of a consumer's personality traits  -  like whether they lean towards being an extrovert or introvert. You can even consider a consumer's belief systems and lifestyles and consumer behavior.  

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How to Effectively Create Target Market Segmentation

Creating a target market analysis will help you understand the types of consumers you need to market to and will even help you break into niche markets. Don't worry; creating one isn't a difficult task, though you'll want to make sure you take the time to get it right to ensure effective marketing messages.   Here are four steps you can take.  

1. Gather Accurate and Current Data

Gathering details from outside sources can be incredibly valuable to help you gain better insights into your market segment, potential customers, and even your industry as a whole. Plus, if you're just starting out, you may not have enough internal data to get a good enough view of what customer groups you need to target based on customer needs.   The challenge when gathering data is that there is plenty out there. Make sure what you're using is both current and accurate.  

2. Divide up Market Based on Chosen Characteristics

Now's the time to wade through data and eliminate what isn't relevant to your target market. You'll want to create customer segmentations. Consumers who are most likely attracted to your brand, product, or service will share the same types of characteristics. Identifying these will ensure you're efficient when creating your messaging in your marketing campaigns.  Here are some questions to help you get the ball rolling:

  • What do my target customers have in common?
  • How does my target customer research products and services?
  • How does my target define themselves?

Once you have some shared characteristics, you can then use them to create customer profiles or personas. It will also help give you even better insight into what really matters to them, plus any trends and insights to help you develop more ideas to increase sales.  

3. Gather Intel on Your Competitors

Understanding the competition in the market is critical. This will tell you exactly what your product or service is up against and what tactics you need to take on to compete.  Ask questions like:  How many businesses have a comparable offering to you?  What's their pricing structure?  What reach do they have?  Who do they appeal to most?  You may find that one group of people is very well served by competitors while another group has yet to be tapped into.  Answering these questions will help you identify the most profitable group to target in your marketing plans, as well as identify what types of marketing communications may or may not have worked prior.

4. Use Market Segmentation As Part of Your Business Plan

Now that you've identified your target segment, it's time to use this knowledge as part of your overall business plan. Yes, you want to use the data to create better marketing plans, but this data can also help you tap into other insights. Think about how you can develop new products and services, order the right amount of stock, and even anticipate demand at certain months of the year.   That is the essence of knowing your market. For instance, if you know you want to test certain products, look at how you can further segment your target market to see whether you should include this new item as part of your regular offerings. Or, if you know that sales are slow at a particular time of the year, you can look at the data to create campaigns to encourage quick sales.  

Using Target Market Segmentation in Your Marketing Strategy

All in all, the goal of target market segmentation is to inform your company's overall business and marketing strategy. It'll help you easily create goals and develop ideas that are more audience-centric.   Doing so means you know what they want and when they want it. This will increase brand loyalty in your customer base. Imagine how your business will benefit from this wealth of knowledge!

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Market Size in a Business Plan

Target Market in a Business Plan

… we are targeting this part of the market …

What is the Target Market?

Target Market in a Business Plan

Target Market Segments

Your product will not be of equal interest to all potential customers, as they do not all have the same needs and characteristics. This section of the business plan deals with the analysis of the target market into different groups of customers (customer or target market segments) each having distinct characteristics and needs from the product.

The target market segmentation strategy depends on the business and the product, but generally segmentation falls into the following customer characteristics groups.

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation splits up a sales market of a business based on such things as the social class, lifestyle choices, personality traits, tastes, attitudes, and the opinions of its customers.

Psychographic market segmentation examples include the promotion of products such as cars as these often reflect a customers lifestyle, and leisure activities. For example, a car business might identify customers who are interested in keeping the environment green and promote hybrid cars to them, or a business involved in activity holidays will seek to market to customers who show a preference for an active lifestyle.

Demographic segmentation

  • Social class
  • Size of family
  • Nationality

Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation is the process of splitting up a sales market of a business based on the geographical location of the customers. It is a particularly important marketing tool when the business is a multinational, worldwide business, but is also used by businesses to split their markets into region, county, state, city, neighborhood, or postal code.

A geographic segmentation example would be seasonal clothing items such as coats and swimwear. In contrast, in a colder climate coats would be marketed and sold all year round whereas swimwear would be highly seasonal during the holiday period. In a hot climate swimwear would be the all year round product and winter coats might not be sold at all.

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation is the process of splitting up the sales market based on brand loyalty, usage, benefits required.

Target Market Presentation in the Business Plan

The business plan target market section can be presented in a number of formats, but a listing of the major customer segments together with a pie chart will show the investor where the main potential for the product lies. In the example below, the market is split into four main segments both in terms of number of customers and percentage of the total target market.

target market 1.0

The average customer spend is also included, to reconcile the total target market back to the served available market (SAM) in monetary terms. Finally, a brief statement about the growth prospects for the market is included to show the investor the potential for growth in your chosen customer segments.

When identifying the target-market segments, it is important to be as specific as possible about the customer characteristics which make up each segment. In choosing which segments to concentrate on, take into account the size and potential for growth of each segment, and identify clearly what benefits, both emotional and financial, the product provides for the customer.

This is part of the financial projections and Contents of a Business Plan Guide , a series of posts on what each section of a simple business plan should include. The next post in this series is about the analysis of the competition for the target-market.

About the Author

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Plan Projections. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.

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How to Write a Market Analysis for a Business Plan

Dan Marticio

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

A lot of preparation goes into starting a business before you can open your doors to the public or launch your online store. One of your first steps should be to write a business plan . A business plan will serve as your roadmap when building your business.

Within your business plan, there’s an important section you should pay careful attention to: your market analysis. Your market analysis helps you understand your target market and how you can thrive within it.

Simply put, your market analysis shows that you’ve done your research. It also contributes to your marketing strategy by defining your target customer and researching their buying habits. Overall, a market analysis will yield invaluable data if you have limited knowledge about your market, the market has fierce competition, and if you require a business loan. In this guide, we'll explore how to conduct your own market analysis.

How to conduct a market analysis: A step-by-step guide

In your market analysis, you can expect to cover the following:

Industry outlook

Target market

Market value


Barriers to entry

Let’s dive into an in-depth look into each section:

Step 1: Define your objective

Before you begin your market analysis, it’s important to define your objective for writing a market analysis. Are you writing it for internal purposes or for external purposes?

If you were doing a market analysis for internal purposes, you might be brainstorming new products to launch or adjusting your marketing tactics. An example of an external purpose might be that you need a market analysis to get approved for a business loan .

The comprehensiveness of your market analysis will depend on your objective. If you’re preparing for a new product launch, you might focus more heavily on researching the competition. A market analysis for a loan approval would require heavy data and research into market size and growth, share potential, and pricing.

Step 2: Provide an industry outlook

An industry outlook is a general direction of where your industry is heading. Lenders want to know whether you’re targeting a growing industry or declining industry. For example, if you’re looking to sell VCRs in 2020, it’s unlikely that your business will succeed.

Starting your market analysis with an industry outlook offers a preliminary view of the market and what to expect in your market analysis. When writing this section, you'll want to include:

Market size

Are you chasing big markets or are you targeting very niche markets? If you’re targeting a niche market, are there enough customers to support your business and buy your product?

Product life cycle

If you develop a product, what will its life cycle look like? Lenders want an overview of how your product will come into fruition after it’s developed and launched. In this section, you can discuss your product’s:

Research and development

Projected growth

How do you see your company performing over time? Calculating your year-over-year growth will help you and lenders see how your business has grown thus far. Calculating your projected growth shows how your business will fare in future projected market conditions.

Step 3: Determine your target market

This section of your market analysis is dedicated to your potential customer. Who is your ideal target customer? How can you cater your product to serve them specifically?

Don’t make the mistake of wanting to sell your product to everybody. Your target customer should be specific. For example, if you’re selling mittens, you wouldn’t want to market to warmer climates like Hawaii. You should target customers who live in colder regions. The more nuanced your target market is, the more information you’ll have to inform your business and marketing strategy.

With that in mind, your target market section should include the following points:


This is where you leave nothing to mystery about your ideal customer. You want to know every aspect of your customer so you can best serve them. Dedicate time to researching the following demographics:

Income level

Create a customer persona

Creating a customer persona can help you better understand your customer. It can be easier to market to a person than data on paper. You can give this persona a name, background, and job. Mold this persona into your target customer.

What are your customer’s pain points? How do these pain points influence how they buy products? What matters most to them? Why do they choose one brand over another?

Research and supporting material

Information without data are just claims. To add credibility to your market analysis, you need to include data. Some methods for collecting data include:

Target group surveys

Focus groups

Reading reviews

Feedback surveys

You can also consult resources online. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau can help you find demographics in calculating your market share. The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration also offer general data that can help you research your target industry.

Step 4: Calculate market value

You can use either top-down analysis or bottom-up analysis to calculate an estimate of your market value.

A top-down analysis tends to be the easier option of the two. It requires for you to calculate the entire market and then estimate how much of a share you expect your business to get. For example, let’s assume your target market consists of 100,000 people. If you’re optimistic and manage to get 1% of that market, you can expect to make 1,000 sales.

A bottom-up analysis is more data-driven and requires more research. You calculate the individual factors of your business and then estimate how high you can scale them to arrive at a projected market share. Some factors to consider when doing a bottom-up analysis include:

Where products are sold

Who your competition is

The price per unit

How many consumers you expect to reach

The average amount a customer would buy over time

While a bottom-up analysis requires more data than a top-down analysis, you can usually arrive at a more accurate calculation.

Step 5: Get to know your competition

Before you start a business, you need to research the level of competition within your market. Are there certain companies getting the lion’s share of the market? How can you position yourself to stand out from the competition?

There are two types of competitors that you should be aware of: direct competitors and indirect competitors.

Direct competitors are other businesses who sell the same product as you. If you and the company across town both sell apples, you are direct competitors.

An indirect competitor sells a different but similar product to yours. If that company across town sells oranges instead, they are an indirect competitor. Apples and oranges are different but they still target a similar market: people who eat fruits.

Also, here are some questions you want to answer when writing this section of your market analysis:

What are your competitor’s strengths?

What are your competitor’s weaknesses?

How can you cover your competitor’s weaknesses in your own business?

How can you solve the same problems better or differently than your competitors?

How can you leverage technology to better serve your customers?

How big of a threat are your competitors if you open your business?

Step 6: Identify your barriers

Writing a market analysis can help you identify some glaring barriers to starting your business. Researching these barriers will help you avoid any costly legal or business mistakes down the line. Some entry barriers to address in your marketing analysis include:

Technology: How rapid is technology advancing and can it render your product obsolete within the next five years?

Branding: You need to establish your brand identity to stand out in a saturated market.

Cost of entry: Startup costs, like renting a space and hiring employees, are expensive. Also, specialty equipment often comes with hefty price tags. (Consider researching equipment financing to help finance these purchases.)

Location: You need to secure a prime location if you’re opening a physical store.

Competition: A market with fierce competition can be a steep uphill battle (like attempting to go toe-to-toe with Apple or Amazon).

Step 7: Know the regulations

When starting a business, it’s your responsibility to research governmental and state business regulations within your market. Some regulations to keep in mind include (but aren’t limited to):

Employment and labor laws


Environmental regulations

If you’re a newer entrepreneur and this is your first business, this part can be daunting so you might want to consult with a business attorney. A legal professional will help you identify the legal requirements specific to your business. You can also check online legal help sites like LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer.

Tips when writing your market analysis

We wouldn’t be surprised if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information needed in a market analysis. Keep in mind, though, this research is key to launching a successful business. You don’t want to cut corners, but here are a few tips to help you out when writing your market analysis:

Use visual aids

Nobody likes 30 pages of nothing but text. Using visual aids can break up those text blocks, making your market analysis more visually appealing. When discussing statistics and metrics, charts and graphs will help you better communicate your data.

Include a summary

If you’ve ever read an article from an academic journal, you’ll notice that writers include an abstract that offers the reader a preview.

Use this same tactic when writing your market analysis. It will prime the reader of your market highlights before they dive into the hard data.

Get to the point

It’s better to keep your market analysis concise than to stuff it with fluff and repetition. You’ll want to present your data, analyze it, and then tie it back into how your business can thrive within your target market.

Revisit your market analysis regularly

Markets are always changing and it's important that your business changes with your target market. Revisiting your market analysis ensures that your business operations align with changing market conditions. The best businesses are the ones that can adapt.

Why should you write a market analysis?

Your market analysis helps you look at factors within your market to determine if it’s a good fit for your business model. A market analysis will help you:

1. Learn how to analyze the market need

Markets are always shifting and it’s a good idea to identify current and projected market conditions. These trends will help you understand the size of your market and whether there are paying customers waiting for you. Doing a market analysis helps you confirm that your target market is a lucrative market.

2. Learn about your customers

The best way to serve your customer is to understand them. A market analysis will examine your customer’s buying habits, pain points, and desires. This information will aid you in developing a business that addresses those points.

3. Get approved for a business loan

Starting a business, especially if it’s your first one, requires startup funding. A good first step is to apply for a business loan with your bank or other financial institution.

A thorough market analysis shows that you’re professional, prepared, and worth the investment from lenders. This preparation inspires confidence within the lender that you can build a business and repay the loan.

4. Beat the competition

Your research will offer valuable insight and certain advantages that the competition might not have. For example, thoroughly understanding your customer’s pain points and desires will help you develop a superior product or service than your competitors. If your business is already up and running, an updated market analysis can upgrade your marketing strategy or help you launch a new product.

Final thoughts

There is a saying that the first step to cutting down a tree is to sharpen an axe. In other words, preparation is the key to success. In business, preparation increases the chances that your business will succeed, even in a competitive market.

The market analysis section of your business plan separates the entrepreneurs who have done their homework from those who haven’t. Now that you’ve learned how to write a market analysis, it’s time for you to sharpen your axe and grow a successful business. And keep in mind, if you need help crafting your business plan, you can always turn to business plan software or a free template to help you stay organized.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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How to Successfully Analyze Target Groups in B2B Marketing

If you want to target your customers - be it with personalized newsletters or other individualized content - you first have to know them. If the buying behavior of the customers is known, conclusions can be drawn not only about the products themselves, but also about their marketing.

Peculiarities of Customer Analysis in B2B Marketing

The B2B industry differs from B2C segmentation when it comes to audience analysis. The complexity of products and services, the long time span from interest to purchase, as well as the diversity of decision makers make the accurate description of a persona a challenge.

Long Decision Paths

While a purchase decision in B2C is often made quickly and spontaneously, the decision-making processes in B2B are longer and more extensive. The potential buyer often weighs up his options for months, compares products and prices and wants to be as well informed as possible in advance.

Not losing sight of a potential B2B customer over a longer period of time requires perseverance, skill and a well thought-out strategy.

Multiple Decision Makers

In addition, the customer journey of a business customer differs from that of an end customer because several decision-makers are involved in the purchasing process.

As a rule, these decision-makers pursue different interests; the purchasing department aims to save costs, the specialist department wants the most suitable product from its point of view and the management wants to see everything combined as far as possible.

This is where conflicts of interest come together, resulting in longer decision-making paths.

Few Customers

Unlike the B2C market, the B2B market is by no means anonymous. Customers and competitors are usually known to the company or can be identified without much effort. The number of clients is thus limited and often even geographically concentrated.

The Consequences of a Missing Target Group Definition in B2B

The target audience (or persona ) is the central point of any marketing strategy. If it's missing, you're poking in the dark and wasting your hard-negotiated budget. The following consequences can result from this.

Scattering Losses Instead of a Targeted Approach

An imprecise or missing target group definition in B2B leads to scattering losses. Potential buyers are not addressed in a targeted manner, but rather in a general way via undifferentiated marketing. This means that financial resources are wasted unnecessarily and valuable leads are lost.

Missing Information About Target Group

Your marketing strategy is largely based on the principle of addressing your customers in such a way that their interests are served. Optimally, the customer behavior is known through various analyses and you can adjust your marketing strategy exactly to it.

However, if the behaviour and interests of your target group are unknown, you will spend a lot of time and resources telling people something, even though they do not belong to your target group.

Communication that is not tailored to the target group can also lead to an unprofessional impression. This is because you are also addressing people with whom you have already been in contact, but who do not want to hear anything more from you at the moment. The worst consequence: the actual target audience is never reached.

Available Data Is not Merged

In your CRM database , information such as industry, company size, legal form and the like should normally be available anyway. It is a prerequisite that the right contact person is contacted.

So why not supplement this data with behavioral data to create a comprehensive customer profile?

If you supplement the data records with further aspects such as

the position of the contact person

the date of the last order,

other interests of the customer..

and other parameters,

you have a good basic framework.

Identify Personas for B2B

The customer journey differs by industry and product. Individualizing your marketing strategy is not only mandatory because of the often tight marketing budget, but also because this can give your company a significant edge over the competition.

To segment your customer groups sensibly, it is advisable to use so-called personas . They serve to simplify the identification of the individual target groups and stand as prototypes for certain characteristics that they have in common.

With a target group analysis you don't start from scratch, but combine already existing data and insights to a representative customer profile.

Identification of Companies and Decision Makers

To correctly identify target groups, you need extensive information about your customers. When analyzing customers in B2B, the organizational characteristics of a company are among the most important segmentation criteria.

In addition to geographical information such as the company's headquarters, this also includes the industry, number of employees and development phase. A start-up may have different needs and interests than a company that has been successful in the market for years.

In addition to organisational characteristics, the decision-makers play a decisive role in the B2B sector. Often, the person who makes the buying decision is different from the person who ultimately instructs or executes the purchase.

Similar to B2C marketing, customer behavior is also a factor that cannot be ignored. How often and at what intervals do businesses purchase from you? Are certain purchasing cycles typical, based on seasonal fluctuations?

Supply your database regularly with such information, but also include available marketing and tracking tools or results of in-house surveys in your target group analysis.

Identify Needs and Challenges

To successfully create personas for each target audience, you need to know their goals. Analyze what the company's intentions are and how they can achieve them most quickly and easily. If you then offer solutions for exactly these challenges, you are already a decisive step ahead of your competition.

Become an enabler and help your B2B target group to reach their goal faster and more efficiently.

The same applies to potential stumbling blocks and challenges. The better you know the industry-specific restrictions and limitations, the better you can help your target group.

Your target group wants a reliable partner who understands the challenges, tackles them and helps to remove obstacles.

Advantages of a Precise Target Group Definition in B2B

A clearly described persona not only helps you to set a clear focus, it also ensures that your marketing resources are used optimally. By avoiding wastage and skilfully playing to your own strengths, you gain a clear competitive advantage over the competition.

Source: Leading prospects to their destination faster, own presentation

Customized Content through Individualization

Once the personas are set up for the different target groups, you can offer your customers tailor-made content.

The targeting of ads and their design can be geared more closely to the target group. This not only saves you costs, but also increases your conversion rate.

Predict Behavior and Frequencies

A well thought-out target group definition makes your customers "predictable". With the help of the persona, you can not only predict the behavior, but also the purchase frequency.

Marketing and sales measures can thus be targeted without wastage.

Using Your Own Strengths in a Targeted Way

If you know your customers, you can turn your company's strengths into concrete arguments. Based on these, you can develop a coherent differentiation strategy with which you communicate to your customers how your company differs from the competition and how your product offers added value.

A precise target group analysis is elementary in the business customer sector. Why? Because the number of customers in B2B is smaller, the target groups are smaller.

It is therefore all the more important to identify these target groups and to address them in as individualized a manner as possible. It is therefore also crucial for successful B2B marketing to address the decision-maker.

This is possible through a well-founded B2B target group analysis, which is based on a well-fed database and empirical values and contains demographic, socio-economic as well as behaviour-specific characteristics.

The finer the segmentation, the less you run the risk of wastage.

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What Is a Target Market (And How to Find Yours)

The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to focus your ads and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.

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Table of Contents

Your target market sets the tone for your entire marketing strategy — from how you develop and name your products or services right through to the marketing channels you use to promote them.

Here’s a hint before we dig in: Your target market is not “everyone” ( unless you’re Google ). Your task in defining your target market is to identify and understand a smaller, relevant niche so you can dominate it. It’s all about narrowing your focus while expanding your reach.

In this guide, we’ll help you learn who’s already interacting with your business and your competitors, then use that information to develop a clear target market as you build your brand .

Bonus: Get the free template to easily craft a detailed profile of your ideal customer and/or target audience.

What is a target market?

A target market is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message . They are the people who are most likely to buy your products or services, and they are united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.

The more clearly you define your target market, the better you can understand how and where to reach your ideal potential customers. You can start with broad categories like millennials or single dads, but you need to get much more detailed than that to achieve the best possible conversion rates.

Don’t be afraid to get highly specific. This is all about targeting your marketing efforts effectively, not stopping people from buying your product.

People who are not included in your targeted marketing can still buy from you—they’re just not your top focus when crafting your marketing strategy. You can’t target everyone, but you can sell to everyone.

Your target market should be based on research, not a gut feeling . You need to go after the people who really want to buy from you, even if they’re not the customers you originally set out to reach.

What is target market segmentation?

Target market segmentation is the process of dividing your target market into smaller, more specific groups. It allows you to create a more relevant marketing message for each group.

Remember — you can’t be all things to all people. But you can be different things to different groups of people.

For example, as a vegetarian, I’ve eaten plenty of Impossible Burgers. I’m definitely a target customer. But vegetarians are a surprisingly small target market segment for Impossible Foods: only 10% of their customer base.

That’s why Impossible Foods’ first national advertising campaign was definitely not targeted at me:

The target market segment for this ad campaign was “meat eaters who haven’t yet tried Impossible products.”

Vegetarians and meat eaters have different reasons for eating plant-based burgers and want different things from the experience. Target market segmentation ensures the company reaches the right audience with the right message.

How to define your target market

Step 1. compile data on your current customers.

A great first step in figuring out who most wants to buy from you is to identify who is already using your products or services. Once you understand the defining characteristics of your existing customer base, you can go after more people like that.

Depending on how someone connects with your business, you might have only a little information about them, or a lot.

This doesn’t mean you should add a lot of questions to your order or opt-in process just for audience research purposes — this can annoy customers and result in abandoned shopping carts.

But do be sure to use the information you naturally acquire to understand trends and averages .

Your CRM is a goldmine here. UTM parameters combined with Google Analytics can also provide useful information about your customers.

Some data points you might want to consider are:

  • Age: You don’t need to get too specific here. It won’t likely make a difference whether your average customer is 24 or 27. But knowing which decade of life your customers are in can be very useful.
  • Location (and time zone): Where in the world do your existing customers live? In addition to understanding which geographic areas to target, this helps you figure out what hours are most important for your customer service and sales reps to be online, and what time you should schedule your social ads and posts to ensure best visibility.
  • Language: Don’t assume your customers speak the same language you do. And don’t assume they speak the dominant language of their (or your) current physical location.
  • Spending power and patterns: How much money do your current customers have to spend? How do they approach purchases in your price category?
  • Interests: What do your customers like to do, besides using your products or services? What TV shows do they watch? What other businesses do they interact with?
  • Challenges: What pain points are your customers facing? Do you understand how your product or service helps them address those challenges?
  • Stage of life: Are your customers likely to be college students? New parents? Parents of teens? Retirees?

If you’re selling B2B products, your categories will look a little different. You might want to collect information about the size of businesses that buy from you, and information about the titles of the people who tend to make the buying decisions. Are you marketing to the CEO? The CTO? The social marketing manager?

Step 2. Incorporate social data

Social media analytics can be a great way of filling out the picture of your target market. They help you understand who’s interacting with your social accounts, even if those people are not yet customers.

These people are interested in your brand. Social analytics can provide a lot of information that might help you understand why. You’ll also learn about potential market segments you may not have thought to target before.

You can also use social listening to help identify the people who are talking about you and your product on social media, even if they don’t follow you.

If you want to reach your target market with social ads, lookalike audiences are an easy way to reach more people who share characteristics with your best customers.

Step 3. Check out the competition

Now that you know who’s already interacting with your business and buying your products or services, it’s time to see who’s engaging with the competition.

Knowing what your competitors are up to can help you answer some key questions:

  • Are your competitors going after the same target market segments as you are?
  • Are they reaching segments you hadn’t thought to consider?
  • How are they positioning themselves?

Our guide on how to do competitor research on social media walks you through the best ways to use social tools to gather competitor insights.

You won’t be able to get detailed audience information about the people interacting with your competitors, but you’ll be able to get a general sense of the approach they’re taking and whether it’s allowing them to create engagement online.

This analysis will help you understand which markets competitors are targeting and whether their efforts appear to be effective for those segments.

Step 4. Clarify the value of your product or service

This comes down to the key distinction all marketers must understand between features and benefits. You can list the features of your product all day long, but no one will be convinced to buy from you unless you can explain the benefits .

Features are what your product is or does. The benefits are the results. How does your product make someone’s life easier, or better, or just more interesting?

If you don’t already have a clear list of the benefits of your product, it’s time to start brainstorming now. As you create your benefit statements, you’ll also by default be stating some basic information about your target audience.

For example, if your service helps people find someone to look after their pets while they’re away, you can be pretty confident that your market will have two main segments: (1) pet owners and (2) existing or potential pet-sitters.

If you’re not sure exactly how customers benefit from using your products, why not ask them in a survey, or even a social media poll ?

You might find that people use your products or services for purposes you haven’t even thought of. That might, in turn, change how you perceive your target market for future sales.

Step 5. Create a target market statement

Now it’s time to boil everything you’ve discovered so far into one simple statement that defines your target market. This is actually the first step in creating a brand positioning statement , but that’s a project for another day. For now, let’s stick to creating a statement that clearly defines your target market.

For example, here’s Zipcar’s brand positioning statement, as cited in the classic marketing text Kellogg on Marketing . We’re interested in the first part of the statement, which defines the target market:

“To urban-dwelling, educated, techno-savvy consumers who worry about the environment that future generations will inherit, Zipcar is the car-sharing service that lets you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, making you feel you’ve made a smart, responsible choice that demonstrates your commitment to protecting the environment.”

Zipcar is not targeting all residents of a particular city. They’re not even targeting all the people in a given city who don’t own a car. They’re specifically targeting people who:

  • live in an urban area
  • have a certain degree of education
  • are comfortable with technology
  • are concerned about the environment

These are all interests and behaviors that Zipcar can specifically target using social content and social ads .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Zipcar (@zipcar)

They also help to guide the company’s overall approach to its service, as evidenced by the rest of the positioning statement.

When crafting your target market statement, try to incorporate the most important demographic and behavior characteristics you’ve identified. For example:

Our target market is [gender(s)] aged [age range], who live in [place or type of place], and like to [activity].

Don’t feel like you need to stick to these particular identifiers. Maybe gender is irrelevant for your market, but you have three or four key behaviors to incorporate in your statement.

If you offer multiple products or services, you might need to create a target market statement for each market segment. In this case, it’s useful to define buyer personas .

Target market examples

Nike target market.

Despite its current market domination, Nike actually provides a great example of what can go wrong when you try to target too general of an audience.

Nike started out as a running shoe company. In the 1980s, they tried to expand their target market beyond runners to include anyone who wanted comfortable shoes. They launched a line of casual shoes, and it flopped.

Here’s the thing: Non-runners were already buying Nike shoes to walk to work, or for other casual purposes. Nike spotted this as an opportunity to expand. Instead, they diluted their brand promise, and the company actually started losing money.

The lesson, according to company founder Phil Knight?

“Ultimately, we determined that we wanted Nike to be the world’s best sports and fitness company and the Nike brand to represent sports and fitness activities. Once you say that, you have focus.”

While Nike would certainly not stop casual users from buying its shoes, the company refocused everything from product development to marketing on its target market: athletes of all levels, from pro to beer league.

In fact, understanding the importance of focus led Nike into a highly effective strategy of target market segmentation. The brand has multiple target markets for its various product lines.

On social, that means they use multiple accounts to reach their different target market groups. No one account tries to be all things to all customers.

The post below from Nike’s general Instagram account targets the segment of their audience interested in fashion and lifestyle products.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball)

But the company also has channels dedicated to specific sports. Here’s an example of the content they create for runners:

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Running (@nikerunning)

And that means … the brand has been able to return to marketing its products specifically for casual wear. It just reaches the casual target market through different channels than it uses for its athletic markets. It’s a different target market segment, and a different marketing message

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nike Sportswear (@nikesportswear)

Like Nike, you might have one target market, or many, depending on the size of your brand. Remember that you can only speak effectively to one target market segment at a time.

Takasa target market

Takasa is a Canadian retail homewares company that specializes in organic, fair trade bedding and bath linens.

Here’s their target market as defined by founders Ruby and Kuljit Rakhra:

“ Our target market is the LOHAS segment, which means Family Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This group of people is already living, or striving to live, a green lifestyle … We know our target demo is very conscious about what their families consume, as well as the impact this consumption has on the environment.”

In their social content, they clearly identify the product features most important to their target market: organic materials and fair labor practices.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Organic + Fairtrade Home Goods (

The City of Port Alberni’s target market

Why does a city need a target market? In Port Alberni’s case, the city is working to “attract investment, business opportunities and new residents.” To that end, they launched a rebranding and marketing campaign.

And a marketing campaign, of course, needs a target market. Here’s how the city defined it:

“ Our target market is young people and young families 25 to 45 years of age who are entrepreneurial-minded, family oriented, adventurous, enjoy an active lifestyle, desire an opportunity to contribute to growth, well-educated and skilled professionals or tradespeople.”

In their social content, they highlight recreational opportunities aimed at those active and adventurous young families, even using the handle @PlayinPA.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by City of Port Alberni (@playinpa)

White House Black Market target market

White House Black Market is a women’s fashion brand. Here’s how they describe their target customer on their website :

“Our customer … is strong yet subtle, modern yet timeless, hard-working yet easy-going.”

That’s a fine description when talking directly to customers. But the marketing department needs a target market definition with a few more specifics. Here’s the detailed target market as described by the company’s former president:

“ Our target market is women [with a] median age of about 45 … at a stage in her life where she’s very busy, primarily a working woman. She’s probably got one or two kids left at home [or] … her children may be out of the house and on their way to college.”

With their hashtag #WHBMPowerhouse, they focus on this key demographic of women in their 40s with busy home lives and careers.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by White House Black Market (@whbm)

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Christina Newberry is an award-winning writer and editor whose greatest passions include food, travel, urban gardening, and the Oxford comma—not necessarily in that order.

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How to make a business plan

Strategic planning in Miro

Table of Contents

How to make a good business plan: step-by-step guide.

A business plan is a strategic roadmap used to navigate the challenging journey of entrepreneurship. It's the foundation upon which you build a successful business.

A well-crafted business plan can help you define your vision, clarify your goals, and identify potential problems before they arise.

But where do you start? How do you create a business plan that sets you up for success?

This article will explore the step-by-step process of creating a comprehensive business plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that outlines a business's objectives, strategies, and operational procedures. It typically includes the following information about a company:

Products or services

Target market


Marketing and sales strategies

Financial plan

Management team

A business plan serves as a roadmap for a company's success and provides a blueprint for its growth and development. It helps entrepreneurs and business owners organize their ideas, evaluate the feasibility, and identify potential challenges and opportunities.

As well as serving as a guide for business owners, a business plan can attract investors and secure funding. It demonstrates the company's understanding of the market, its ability to generate revenue and profits, and its strategy for managing risks and achieving success.

Business plan vs. business model canvas

A business plan may seem similar to a business model canvas, but each document serves a different purpose.

A business model canvas is a high-level overview that helps entrepreneurs and business owners quickly test and iterate their ideas. It is often a one-page document that briefly outlines the following:

Key partnerships

Key activities

Key propositions

Customer relationships

Customer segments

Key resources

Cost structure

Revenue streams

On the other hand, a Business Plan Template provides a more in-depth analysis of a company's strategy and operations. It is typically a lengthy document and requires significant time and effort to develop.

A business model shouldn’t replace a business plan, and vice versa. Business owners should lay the foundations and visually capture the most important information with a Business Model Canvas Template . Because this is a fast and efficient way to communicate a business idea, a business model canvas is a good starting point before developing a more comprehensive business plan.

A business plan can aim to secure funding from investors or lenders, while a business model canvas communicates a business idea to potential customers or partners.

Why is a business plan important?

A business plan is crucial for any entrepreneur or business owner wanting to increase their chances of success.

Here are some of the many benefits of having a thorough business plan.

Helps to define the business goals and objectives

A business plan encourages you to think critically about your goals and objectives. Doing so lets you clearly understand what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there.

A well-defined set of goals, objectives, and key results also provides a sense of direction and purpose, which helps keep business owners focused and motivated.

Guides decision-making

A business plan requires you to consider different scenarios and potential problems that may arise in your business. This awareness allows you to devise strategies to deal with these issues and avoid pitfalls.

With a clear plan, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions aligning with their overall business goals and objectives. This helps reduce the risk of making costly mistakes and ensures they make decisions with long-term success in mind.

Attracts investors and secures funding

Investors and lenders often require a business plan before considering investing in your business. A document that outlines the company's goals, objectives, and financial forecasts can help instill confidence in potential investors and lenders.

A well-written business plan demonstrates that you have thoroughly thought through your business idea and have a solid plan for success.

Identifies potential challenges and risks

A business plan requires entrepreneurs to consider potential challenges and risks that could impact their business. For example:

Is there enough demand for my product or service?

Will I have enough capital to start my business?

Is the market oversaturated with too many competitors?

What will happen if my marketing strategy is ineffective?

By identifying these potential challenges, entrepreneurs can develop strategies to mitigate risks and overcome challenges. This can reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes and ensure the business is well-positioned to take on any challenges.

Provides a basis for measuring success

A business plan serves as a framework for measuring success by providing clear goals and financial projections . Entrepreneurs can regularly refer to the original business plan as a benchmark to measure progress. By comparing the current business position to initial forecasts, business owners can answer questions such as:

Are we where we want to be at this point?

Did we achieve our goals?

If not, why not, and what do we need to do?

After assessing whether the business is meeting its objectives or falling short, business owners can adjust their strategies as needed.

How to make a business plan step by step

The steps below will guide you through the process of creating a business plan and what key components you need to include.

1. Create an executive summary

Start with a brief overview of your entire plan. The executive summary should cover your business plan's main points and key takeaways.

Keep your executive summary concise and clear with the Executive Summary Template . The simple design helps readers understand the crux of your business plan without reading the entire document.

2. Write your company description

Provide a detailed explanation of your company. Include information on what your company does, the mission statement, and your vision for the future.

Provide additional background information on the history of your company, the founders, and any notable achievements or milestones.

3. Conduct a market analysis

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your industry, competitors, and target market. This is best done with a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, identify your target market's needs, demographics, and behaviors.

Use the Competitive Analysis Template to brainstorm answers to simple questions like:

What does the current market look like?

Who are your competitors?

What are they offering?

What will give you a competitive advantage?

Who is your target market?

What are they looking for and why?

How will your product or service satisfy a need?

These questions should give you valuable insights into the current market and where your business stands.

4. Describe your products and services

Provide detailed information about your products and services. This includes pricing information, product features, and any unique selling points.

Use the Product/Market Fit Template to explain how your products meet the needs of your target market. Describe what sets them apart from the competition.

5. Design a marketing and sales strategy

Outline how you plan to promote and sell your products. Your marketing strategy and sales strategy should include information about your:

Pricing strategy

Advertising and promotional tactics

Sales channels

The Go to Market Strategy Template is a great way to visually map how you plan to launch your product or service in a new or existing market.

6. Determine budget and financial projections

Document detailed information on your business’ finances. Describe the current financial position of the company and how you expect the finances to play out.

Some details to include in this section are:

Startup costs

Revenue projections

Profit and loss statement

Funding you have received or plan to receive

Strategy for raising funds

7. Set the organization and management structure

Define how your company is structured and who will be responsible for each aspect of the business. Use the Business Organizational Chart Template to visually map the company’s teams, roles, and hierarchy.

As well as the organization and management structure, discuss the legal structure of your business. Clarify whether your business is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or LLC.

8. Make an action plan

At this point in your business plan, you’ve described what you’re aiming for. But how are you going to get there? The Action Plan Template describes the following steps to move your business plan forward. Outline the next steps you plan to take to bring your business plan to fruition.

Types of business plans

Several types of business plans cater to different purposes and stages of a company's lifecycle. Here are some of the most common types of business plans.

Startup business plan

A startup business plan is typically an entrepreneur's first business plan. This document helps entrepreneurs articulate their business idea when starting a new business.

Not sure how to make a business plan for a startup? It’s pretty similar to a regular business plan, except the primary purpose of a startup business plan is to convince investors to provide funding for the business. A startup business plan also outlines the potential target market, product/service offering, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Strategic business plan

A strategic business plan is a long-term plan that outlines a company's overall strategy, objectives, and tactics. This type of strategic plan focuses on the big picture and helps business owners set goals and priorities and measure progress.

The primary purpose of a strategic business plan is to provide direction and guidance to the company's management team and stakeholders. The plan typically covers a period of three to five years.

Operational business plan

An operational business plan is a detailed document that outlines the day-to-day operations of a business. It focuses on the specific activities and processes required to run the business, such as:

Organizational structure

Staffing plan

Production plan

Quality control

Inventory management

Supply chain

The primary purpose of an operational business plan is to ensure that the business runs efficiently and effectively. It helps business owners manage their resources, track their performance, and identify areas for improvement.

Growth-business plan

A growth-business plan is a strategic plan that outlines how a company plans to expand its business. It helps business owners identify new market opportunities and increase revenue and profitability. The primary purpose of a growth-business plan is to provide a roadmap for the company's expansion and growth.

The 3 Horizons of Growth Template is a great tool to identify new areas of growth. This framework categorizes growth opportunities into three categories: Horizon 1 (core business), Horizon 2 (emerging business), and Horizon 3 (potential business).

One-page business plan

A one-page business plan is a condensed version of a full business plan that focuses on the most critical aspects of a business. It’s a great tool for entrepreneurs who want to quickly communicate their business idea to potential investors, partners, or employees.

A one-page business plan typically includes sections such as business concept, value proposition, revenue streams, and cost structure.

Best practices for how to make a good business plan

Here are some additional tips for creating a business plan:

Use a template

A template can help you organize your thoughts and effectively communicate your business ideas and strategies. Starting with a template can also save you time and effort when formatting your plan.

Miro’s extensive library of customizable templates includes all the necessary sections for a comprehensive business plan. With our templates, you can confidently present your business plans to stakeholders and investors.

Be practical

Avoid overestimating revenue projections or underestimating expenses. Your business plan should be grounded in practical realities like your budget, resources, and capabilities.

Be specific

Provide as much detail as possible in your business plan. A specific plan is easier to execute because it provides clear guidance on what needs to be done and how. Without specific details, your plan may be too broad or vague, making it difficult to know where to start or how to measure success.

Be thorough with your research

Conduct thorough research to fully understand the market, your competitors, and your target audience . By conducting thorough research, you can identify potential risks and challenges your business may face and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Get input from others

It can be easy to become overly focused on your vision and ideas, leading to tunnel vision and a lack of objectivity. By seeking input from others, you can identify potential opportunities you may have overlooked.

Review and revise regularly

A business plan is a living document. You should update it regularly to reflect market, industry, and business changes. Set aside time for regular reviews and revisions to ensure your plan remains relevant and effective.

Create a winning business plan to chart your path to success

Starting or growing a business can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, a well-written business plan can make or break your business’ success.

The purpose of a business plan is more than just to secure funding and attract investors. It also serves as a roadmap for achieving your business goals and realizing your vision. With the right mindset, tools, and strategies, you can develop a visually appealing, persuasive business plan.

Ready to make an effective business plan that works for you? Check out our library of ready-made strategy and planning templates and chart your path to success.

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What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

target group business plan

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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EU Adopts Mandatory Rules on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence That Will Apply to Many US Companies

On 24 April 2024, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), meaning it will now become law and necessitate a shift in corporate attitudes to responsible business conduct. The CSDDD will apply to European Union (EU) and non-EU companies with activities in the EU meeting the thresholds outlined below. For the first time, it will introduce comprehensive mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence obligations, with significant financial penalties and civil liability for companies that do not fully comply. It also will create a new obligation for companies to adopt and put into effect a climate transition plan, as well as a requirement for companies to report on their due diligence processes. This will likely be a heavy lift for most in-scope businesses, as these requirements reframe existing international soft laws [1] as mandatory obligations. Companies not in scope but in the value chains of businesses that are in scope also will feel the effects of the law, and can expect increasing sustainability-related information requests, contractual requirements and climate-related transition requests.

The new due diligence obligations created by the CSDDD will apply in addition to other more specific due diligence obligations introduced under the EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation , the EU’s Batteries Regulation , the EU’s Deforestation Regulation and the new procedures companies will have to adopt to ensure compliance with the EU’s ban on products made with forced labour , which also was approved by the European Parliament this week.

Which companies does the CSDDD apply to?

The CSDDD applies to EU and non-EU companies, including most regulated financial undertakings, that satisfy the turnover and employee thresholds. It also applies to ultimate parent companies of groups that satisfy the same thresholds on a consolidated group basis.

The EU has adopted a phased-in approach for the CSDDD with the obligations applying between three and five years from the date the law enters into force.

target group business plan

The CSDDD only applies to those companies that meet the relevant thresholds for two consecutive years. 

We also will be closely tracking national implementation of the CSDDD into the laws of the EU member states, since EU member states are permitted to bring additional companies in scope of the CSDDD and/or require compliance sooner.

Franchisors and licensors

Lower financial thresholds apply to companies that rely on franchise or license models where the company’s or group’s agreements with third parties ensure a common identity, a common business concept and the application of uniform business methods.

target group business plan

What does the CSDDD require in-scope entities to do?

Mandatory climate transition plans.

The CSDDD will require all in-scope companies to adopt and put into effect a climate transition plan which aims to ensure, through best efforts, that the business model and strategy of the company is compatible with all of the following:

  • Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement.
  • The EU’s objective of achieving climate net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, including all related interim targets for 2030 (i.e., a reduction of net GHG emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels) and 2040.
  • A transition to a sustainable economy.

A company’s climate transition plan must include, amongst other things, science-based, time-bound targets covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions for 2030 – and every five years after until 2050. The transition plan needs to be updated annually and must contain a description of the progress the company has made towards achieving its targets. For those companies in scope of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), their plan will be subject to audit. The 2030 emissions target will, in practice, require many companies to take steps to comply before the CSDDD fully applies to them, otherwise they risk not being able to achieve the target set.

Critically, this is an obligation of means and not of results. While the CSDDD recognizes that specific circumstances may lead to companies not being able to reach their targets, for traded companies, in particular, there remains a risk of securities litigation where targets disclosed in regulated filings go unmet. Even for nonlisted companies, there are risks of claims being brought under new EU green claims rules if reported targets are known to be unachievable (and therefore potentially misleading).

Mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence

Under the CSDDD, companies also will be required to identify and, where necessary, prioritize, prevent, mitigate, bring to an end, minimize and remediate potential and actual adverse human rights and environmental impacts whilst engaging in stakeholder consultation throughout. Companies will need to refresh their mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence assessments at minimum every 12 months and, where not already required to report on their processes under the CSRD, they will be required to publish an annual statement on their due diligence processes.

In-scope companies’ due diligence efforts must cover their own operations, the operations of their subsidiaries, and operations carried out by direct and indirect business partners in their ‘chain of activities’. A company’s ‘chain of activities’ covers the upstream activities connected to a company’s product or service – including design, extraction, sourcing, and manufacture of raw materials and products. It also covers certain downstream activities, including the distribution, transport and storage of products, but not their disposal or end use.

As the downstream impacts of services are entirely excluded, regulated financial undertakings are therefore only subject to due diligence obligations for the upstream part of their chain of activities. However, the CSDDD envisages the possible introduction of sustainability due diligence requirements for the financial services industry as early as 2026. 

What does mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence require in practice?

In practice, this means companies will need to:

1. Integrate mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence into their policies and risk management systems at all relevant levels of operation.

These policies must be developed in consultation with the company’s employees and representatives and must be updated periodically.

2. Identify and assess actual and potential adverse human rights and environmental impacts.

Adverse human rights and environmental impacts include, for example, forced labour, pollution and biodiversity loss, and must be assessed throughout a company’s own operations, those of its subsidiaries and, where related to its chain of activities, those of its business partners. This will require companies to map their chain of activities and carry out in-depth assessments in those areas where adverse impacts are most likely to occur and/or are most severe. Mandatory stakeholder consultation is a critical part of this identification and assessment process.

3. Prevent – or, where not possible, mitigate – potential adverse impacts and where impacts are identified, bring them to an end.

The CSDDD provides for risk-based due diligence, aligned with the UNGPs’ focus on severity and likelihood. These obligations are not obligations of result but obligations of means (i.e., companies are not expected to guarantee that adverse impacts will never occur or that they will always be stopped). Companies must nevertheless take appropriate measures that are capable of effectively addressing adverse impacts identified in a manner commensurate to the nature of the adverse impact. Measures might include cascading contractual clauses or targeted support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the form of training or even targeted financial aid. As a last resort, where efforts to prevent or mitigate have been unsuccessful, companies may be required to terminate their business relationship. Stakeholder consultation will play an important role in each instance to inform and support a company’s decisions and actions.

4. Provide remediation where the company causes or causes jointly with subsidiaries or business partners (e.g., by facilitating or incentivizing) an actual adverse impact.

Remediation here means the restitution of affected persons, communities or the environment to a situation equivalent to or as close as possible to the position they would have been in had the adverse impact not materialized. Where a company neither causes nor contributes to the impact arising in its chain of activities, the company is nevertheless expected to use its influence to bring to an end or minimize the extent of the impact.

5. Prioritize where necessary.

Companies should prioritize adverse impacts based on their severity and likelihood without regard to business-related factors, such as the company’s potential liability or the leverage the company might have. Once the most salient adverse impacts have been addressed, companies must then address those less salient.

6. Engage in stakeholder consultation.

The CSDDD mandates ‘meaningful’ stakeholder engagement throughout the due diligence process. Stakeholders include individuals and communities whose rights or interests are or could be impacted, as well as civil society organizations. Companies are expected to pay particular attention to the needs of vulnerable stakeholders and must address barriers to engagement.

7. Establish and maintain a notification mechanism and complaints procedure.

These processes must be publicly available and transparent, and they must enable impacted persons, trade unions and civil society to submit legitimate concerns regarding actual or potential adverse impacts.

8. Do more than rely on contractual assurances alone.

Companies will not be able to rely on cascading contractual assurances alone to satisfy their due diligence obligations under the CSDDD. Where used, contractual assurances must be accompanied by ‘appropriate measures’ to verify compliance and should be designed to ensure that responsibilities are shared appropriately by the company and the relevant business partner and avoid the complete transfer of due diligence obligations. The European Commission is expected to publish voluntary model contract clauses before the end of 2026.


The CSDDD will be enforced nationally by the authorities of the EU member states. Companies that do not comply with the CSDDD may face sanctions from national administrative authorities – including fines of up to 5% of their global turnover.

New civil liability regime

The CSDDD introduces a civil liability regime whereby companies could be liable for damages where they ‘intentionally or negligently’ failed to prevent, mitigate, bring to an end or minimize an adverse human rights impact which led to damage. The civil liability is subject to a five-year limitation period and excludes damage caused solely by the activities of a company’s business partners. Civil society and nongovernmental organizations will be able to bring claims for collective redress on behalf of victims. National courts also are expected to implement mechanisms to address procedural barriers for claimants.

Exclusion from public tenders

It also is possible that national authorities will make compliance with the CSDDD a criterion for the award of public contracts and concessions.

Next steps?

The CSDDD enters into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Prior to publication, the CSDDD will need to be formally approved by the European Council (expected 23 May). This means that the CSDDD will likely enter into force during Q3 2024. Member states will have two years after entry into force to transpose the legislation into national law, and the requirements will start to apply to companies three, four and five years after entry into force, depending on the size of the company.

We will be closely tracking national implementation of the CSDDD and how it impacts existing national due diligence regimes in the EU – e.g., the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) and the French law on the duty of vigilance – already in force, along with proposed regimes – e.g., the Dutch Child Labour Due Diligence Act. Member states have discretion under the CSDDD to expand the scoping thresholds, the downstream activities in scope and the measures available for remediation.

If you have any questions or would like support understanding the implications of this new regime, please contact a member of  Cooley’s international ESG and sustainability advisory team .

[1] The CSDDD is broadly aligned with the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD guidelines).

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Moscow International Business Centre (MIBC)

The Moscow International Business Centre (MIBC) is an ambitious engineering project in the centre of Moscow. The site is

Estimated Investment

$12 billion

Construction Started

Moscow, Russia

Project Type

Business complex (city within a city)

CITY JSC, Moscow City Government

target group business plan

The Moscow International Business Centre (MIBC) is an ambitious engineering project in the centre of Moscow. The site is on an old urban area near the river embankment. The goal of the project is to create a new business district within the city.

The whole complex is to be built on a 100ha site (divided into 30 plots) designated for new development on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. The management company for the project is CITY Joint Stock Company (CITY JSC), a company first set up in 1992 as a collaboration between the Russian government and private investors.

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The project was first launched in the early 1990s but has been stalled for much of the last 10 years due to a lack of investment. In 2003 the project started to attract investment again and has been gaining momentum ever since.


The first major building constructed in the MIBC project on Plot 1 was the Bagration Bridge (pedestrian bridge) and mall, completed in 1999. The second project was the Tower 2000 office complex, a multi-use business complex begun in 1996 and completed in 2001. The building is 106m high and has 30 storeys above ground and four storeys below. The total floor area of the complex is 60,000m².

The underground area contains parking garages, restaurants, retail areas and a fitness centre. Floors 3–15 and 17–26 are business offices while floors 8 and 27 have a media centre, large exhibition hall and piano bar.

The business areas are served by structured cable network, fibre optic cable, satellite broadcasting, Wi Fi and ADSL Internet access, automatic digital telephone exchange with integration of services, local broadcasting system, municipal broadcasting network, electric timing system, data collection and processing system, audio and video systems, simultaneous interpreting system, conference system, video projection system and security systems including biometric access control and a monitoring system.

The tower also has a central air conditioning system, auxiliary exhaust ventilation system, cooler and heat supply systems, Uninterruptible Power Supply system (UPS), automatic fire security system, automatic volumetric fire-fighting system, sprinkler system and automatic smoke removal system.

The general contractor for the tower was Promstroytechnologia-M Company Ltd. The facade of the tower, which is made of glass and structured concrete, was constructed by Transwall Technology. The tower is equipped with 17 computerised rapid elevators, supplied and installed by Schindler Aufzuege AG, and an outer panoramic elevator, supplied and installed by Kone Lifts. The exterior lighting equipment was supplied and installed by Thorn.


The sites designated by plots 2 and 3 are now to be developed as the Moscow Wedding Palace and City Square. This will include a city square, an underground retail complex and a 14 storey multipurpose complex, which will include the Wedding Palace, banquet halls, restaurants, shops and a hotel.

The developer is Capital City Developments. The architect is Mosproject – 2. The construction started in 2005 and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2007.


The Aquapark leisure complex was started in 2002 and was completed in 2005. The site occupies a 1.74ha area adjacent to Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. It includes:

  • Complex of swimming pools, water mountains and leisure attractions, restaurants and cafes and retail areas (24,352m²)
  • Five-star, 30-storey hotel complex (54,640m²) built on a six-storey podium containing retail areas, restaurants and nightclubs
  • Parking to accommodate 425 vehicles (13,050m²)
  • The aqua park will be connected with a mooring on the Moscva River

The developer of the complex was Aqua-City Palas Company Ltd. The project required an estimated investment of $230 million. The general contractor was Liard Stroy Ltd and the designers were Mosproekt-2 of Russia and Tkhomesto Engineering of Finland.


A large underground complex containing the central core of the MIBC, an underground mall and two metro stations is located on these plots. Construction started in late 2001 on the 5.1ha site and was completed in mid-2004. The complex has a total floor area of 150,000m² and includes:

  • 35,000m² shopping mall
  • 20,000m² multi-purpose performance complex
  • 10,000m² dancing complex
  • 15,500m² sports and leisure complex
  • 30,000m² ‘Wonderful World of Entertainment’ theme park
  • 7,000m² restaurant complex
  • 30,000m² hotel

The complex developer was CITY JSC and the designers were Mosproekt-2. The construction engineers were Bovis Europe and Jones Lang Lassale of the UK.


This project involves the construction of two connected tower blocks and a dome. The towers will be of 73 and 62 storeys high, with a 16-storey domed building containing an atrium. Connecting the buildings will be a podium building with three storeys above ground and 4–6 below ground.

The lower levels of each tower will be for office space (200,000m²), while the upper levels (above 80m) will be residential and the dome will be used as a retail area. The investment for the project is $250 million.

The developer is Capital Group; the construction engineers are Bouygues Construction and the architects are Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects of Holland. Construction has been underway since 2005 and the project is scheduled for completion in mid-2007.


This project involves the construction of a new office and apartment complex consisting of three A-Class buildings 16 (86m), 27 (135m) and 52 (250m) storeys high, with a total floor area of 220,000m². The construction began in mid-2003 on the 2.55ha site with the smallest of the three buildings.

The first building was completed in autumn 2004. Enka, a Turkish construction company , is carrying out the development and construction. Enka has invested a total of $150 million so far. Work is continuing on the other two buildings with completion expected in 2007.


The major project on these plots will be a 300m, 75-storey, mixed-use tower block with over 204,000m² of floor space. The facilities will include commercial and government offices, residential areas, retail space, leisure and health centres and a four-star hotel.

Offices will occupy the floors 4–45, while apartments are on floors 48–66. The building was designed as a two-tier skyscraper, 30 floors in the first tier and 37 in the second one. The second floor of the building will be occupied by a casino. The 47th floor will be occupied by a gymnasium.

The designers for the project are Swanke Hayden Connell Architects and the investors are Techinvest, who are investing $270 million. The contractors for the construction are Summa, a Turkish development company. Groundwork was carried out by Kaskatas. Construction on the building started in the third quarter of 2004 with completion scheduled for late 2006.


The Federatsiya (Federation) office complex is to consist of two towers, one 57 storeys high and the other 87 storeys (345m), and a podium. The 87-storey tower will hold offices and the 57-storey tower will include residential apartments and a hotel. The total floor area of the complex will be 240,000m².

The podium will have three to five levels and 30,000m² of floor space and will contain retail areas, banking facilities, cafes, restaurants and leisure facilities. The complex will have 14 lifts built between the two towers, including four ‘Shuttle’ round-observation lifts.

Stroimontage and NIKoil Financial Group will invest more than $500 million in the project. The architects for the project are P Schweger, S Tchoban and A Asadov of Germany. Stroimontage is the general contractor for the project. Construction started in April 2004 and the complex is scheduled for completion by 2008.


Plots 2 and 3 are owned by the Moscow City Government and original plans were for the new City Hall and Dumas (Parliament) buildings to be located there. However, these buildings will now occupy Plot 15.

The construction on Plot 15 consists of four 70-storey interconnected 308.4m buildings. The project started in November 2005 and will be finished by the end of 2007.

It is expected that all government administration will be accumulated in the new complex to provide better organisation, allowing the buildings currently in use to be sold.

The four skyscrapers will be connected by several two storey bridges between towers and eight storey bridges at the top. The highest bridges will be built in shape of letter ‘M’ for ‘Moscow’.


Plans for a 600m-tall tower to be built in Moscow to designs by British architect Sir Norman Foster were released in March 2006. ST Towers is the developer behind the project and is part of the ST Group.

The Russia Tower will be more than 50% higher than the Empire State Building and is to be built within the Moskva-City development on Plot 16 near the site’s border with the Third Ring Road. It will overshadow the 430m Federation Tower under construction at Moskva-City, which developers say will be the tallest building in Europe when it is completed in 2008.

The 420,000m² tower is a striking design comprising three blade-like structures arranged in a trefoil-like plan around a central core and tapering sharply toward the top, with part of the steel structure exposed on the outside like an exoskeleton.

Described by the architect as a vertical city, the tower is to house parking and retail space on nine underground levels, a public ice rink on the first floor under a spacious, pyramidal atrium, a hotel with serviced apartments above, 24 floors of office, high-end apartments on the top levels and a public observation deck at the very top. The resident population of the tower could be 25,000.

The Russia Tower is billed as an environmentally friendly project, maximizing natural ventilation and lighting, with solar cells, the collection of rainwater and snow to reduce water demand and the recycling of energy between areas with varying levels of demand. In addition, atria several floors high are to be spaced throughout the building’s central core and decorated with plants, providing the luxury apartments on the upper floors with private gardens in the sky.

The construction of the tower is expected to cost about $1.5 billion; of this about $150 million to $200 million would be supplied by ST Towers. Plans for the tower have been approved and it should be finished by about 2010. Construction has not yet started.


The multipurpose complex will include two towers (80 and 78 floors), with a common underground space for parking. The high tower will contain office premises and the second tower will be a hotel.

The complex will also contain a roof-top restaurant with a panoramic view, cafes and bars, conference halls and billiard club. The architect is Skidmore, Owinds, and Merrill LLP. No dates have yet been announced.


An office complex is being developed on this plot by ZAO Severnaya Bashnya. The Northern Towers will consist of three buildings – two 12-storey and one 29-storey. These will contain 135,000m² of floor space.

The architect is Project Institute 2 and the construction engineer is Bau Holding Strabag AG (Austria). Interior design in the building will be carried out by ABD Limited, and legal services with regard to lease documents are provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The first phase of Northern Tower is scheduled for shell and core delivery by the fourth quarter of 2006. The marketing and leasing campaign has already started. Raiffeisenbank has agreed to become the first tenant of the complex.

Northern Tower will feature spectacular atriums, prime office premises and a multi-level parking for 688 cars. There will also be a multi-functional conference hall for up to 200 people, banking premises, restaurants and cafes, a fitness centre with a swimming pool operated by Reebok, a professional dental clinic and a beauty parlour.


The power supply for the new MIBC has been a subject of much contention among foreign investors. The complex requires an efficient power distribution system operating at 20kV rather than the more typical 10kV.

CITY JSC and power supplier Mosenergo JSC put forward a proposal in 1999 to the Moscow City Government to develop a new power network for the MIBC, mini-metro, metro junction core, Eurostation and Sheremetyevo-Moscow Rapid Transit System.

The power and heat supply for the MIBC will be provided from three sources: the Mosenergo power station ‘SS-CITY-1’; the district heat and power station ‘Krasnya Prsnya’; and the MIBC power plant on Plot 7A, which entered its first phase of construction in 2002–2003 and is now well into its second phase with completion expected in 2006.

Having established the power supply sources, the next part of the project was the bulk power and distribution network to support the MIBC. Phase 1 of the MIBC power plant has seen the construction of a Gas Turbine Unit (GTU) and Heat and Power Plant (HPP) with a capacity of 50MW and a substation with two transformers for 110V from 20kV and 110V from 10kV and two 63MVA distribution units. The next phase will see an increase of capacity up to 100MW.

The developers of the power plant are CITY JSC and CITY-ENERGO Company Ltd. The contractors for the project are Liard-Stroy Ltd and the designers of the plant were Mosproekt-2 and VNIPI Energoprom.


The Moscow–Sheremetyevo line is the first phase of the RTS to connect the three satellite airports to the centre of Moscow. This first line, 34.3km in length, will provide interconnectivity between the airport, regional centres and urban junctions and also interconnect with the existing municipal transport system. The project was started in 2001 and eight stations were planned. This stage is now complete.

The developer for the RTS is CITY JSC in collaboration with the City of Moscow; the designer is SNC Lavalin of Canada. The Phase 2 section of the project to extend the line to cover Vnukovo Airport was started in 2004 and is now nearing completion (scheduled to open in 2007).

The RTS development not only concerns rail links to the new commerical centre of Moscow but it is also a development in its own right. The Plot 11 development will include the construction of the new Moscow transport terminal uniting the RTS, three lines of the underground and the intercity bus terminal.

The complex will include transport stations with waiting rooms, boarding areas for VIPs, a hall of customs inspection, left-luggage offices, a 342 room hotel and ticket offices.

For this section of the development Citer Invest B.V. of the Netherlands is the developer, Behnish and Behnish Architekten of Germany are the architects. The investment is $200 million and construction is underway with an expected completion in 2007.


A mini-metro line was also constructed to provide transportation within the MIBC and to connect with the historical centre of Moscow. There are three stations, one constructed in Phase 1 of the project and two in Phase 2. The three stations are Dorogomilovskaya, International and Moscow – City.

The length of the line is 5.85km. The engineering and transport contractors were Metrogiprotrans JSC. The line along with the International and Moscow – City stations came into operation in September 2005.

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Atos reports first quarter 2024 performance*

Q1 2024 revenue €2,479m, down -2.6% organically, eviden down -3.9% organically, reflecting continued softness in americas and the uk, tech foundations down -1.5% organically, reflecting lower scope of work with certain customers in americas and central europe, order entry of €1.6bn for a book-to-bill of 64%, compared with 73% in prior year, eviden book-to-bill at 83%, compared with 79% in prior year, driven by stronger demand in high-performance computing, tech foundations book-to-bill at 47%, compared with 68% in prior year as customers delay contract decisions, operating margin of €48 million or 1.9% of revenue, eviden at 1.9% and tech foundations at 2.0%, cash position** of €1.0 bn as of march 31, 2024, net debt position of €3.9 bn, reflecting a €1.3 bn reduction of working capital actions compared with december 2023, implementation of interim financing of €450m in progress, business plan presented on april 9 to be adjusted to reflect current business performance and trends, revisions to the 2024-2027 business plan to lead to an increase in new money needs and to a potential additional debt reduction, update to be communicated to the market in the coming days, refinancing proposal deadline extended to may 3, allowing all stakeholders time to incorporate new information, july 2024 target date to reach a refinancing agreement with financial creditors unchanged, paris, france – april 25 2024.

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, high-performance computing and information technology infrastructure, today announces its performance for the first quarter of 2024.

Atos’ Chief Executive Officer, Paul Saleh declared: “Tech Foundations and Digital are executing on their transformation plans. Business was nonetheless impacted by softer market conditions in key regions such as the Americas and Central Europe as well as delays in contract award.

During this quarter, our BDS business expanded its leadership in high-performance computing, with a new contract award in Denmark to accelerate research and innovation in various fields such as healthcare, life sciences, and the green transition, as well as with add-on work for existing HPC customers.

On April 9, we outlined the key parameters of a refinancing framework to address our overall debt levels and upcoming debt maturities. We will update in the coming days those parameters to take into account the adjustment of our 2024-2027 business plan. We have therefore extended the deadline for submissions of refinancing proposals by existing stakeholders and third-party investors to May 3. We will review those proposals with our financial creditors and agree on an appropriate path forward. Our goal remains to agree on a refinancing solution by this coming July.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our 94,000 employees for their commitment to giving our customers the highest quality of service delivery. I would like to also thank our customers and partners for their continued support.”

Revenue by Businesses

*: at constant scope and average exchange rates

Group r evenue was €2,479 million in Q1 2024, down -2.6% organically compared with Q1 2023.

Eviden revenue was €1,164 million, down -3.9% organically.

  • Digital activities decreased mid-single digit. While revenue grew in continental Europe with public sector and utility customers, the business was impacted by the general market slowdown in Americas and by contract scope reductions in the United Kingdom.
  • Big Data & Security (BDS) revenue decreased low single digit organically. Revenue in Advanced Computing was up slightly, with stronger activity in the public sector in France and in Asia. Revenue in Digital Security declined, impacted by a ramp up delay in a large project in Europe.

Tech Foundations was €1,314 million, down -1.5% organically.

  • Core revenue (excluding BPO and value-added resale (“VAR”)) decreased by -3.6%. Stronger contributions related to the Paris Olympic & Paralympic games and the UEFA contract were offset by slowdown in public sector spending in Central Europe as well as by contract scope and volume reductions in Americas.
  • Non-core revenue grew high-single digit, reflecting a strong demand for hardware and software products from European customers and a moderate growth in BPO activities in the United Kingdom.

Overall, revenue of the Group was impacted by delays in award of new contracts and add-on work, as clients await the final resolution of the Group’s refinancing plan.

Revenue by Regional Business Unit

*: At constant scope and average exchange rates

Americas revenue decreased by -7.5% on an organic basis, reflecting the current general slowdown in market conditions. Digital services were down reflecting contract completions and volume decline in Healthcare and Insurance. The delivery of a supercomputer project in South America in Q1 2023 also provided a higher prior year comparison basis for BDS. Revenue in Tech Foundations was down due to a contract completion and scope reductions with select customers.

Northern Europe & Asia-Pacific revenue decreased by -3.2% on an organic basis. Eviden revenue declined high-single digit, reflecting a lower demand from Public Sector, Healthcare and Insurance customers. Revenue in Tech Foundations was slightly up with the contribution from Asia and increased BPO activity in the UK offsetting volume decline in the healthcare sector.

Central Europe revenue was down -3.8% on an organic basis. Eviden revenue slightly declined, as growth in Digital activities in Germany and Austria offset lower activities in BDS. Tech Foundations revenue declined high-single digit, reflecting delays in public sector spending.

Southern Europe revenue was up +0.7% organically. Eviden revenue grew mid-single digit, reflecting strong activity in High-Performance Computing. Digital activities grew as well, benefitting from the ramp-up of large contracts in Spain and with a major European utility company in France. Tech Foundations revenue declined low single-digit following contract completions with Banking and Public Sector customers.

Revenue in Others and global structures , which encompass Middle East, Africa, Major Events as well as the Group’s global delivery centers and global structures, strongly grew by 30% organically, reflecting strong performance in Major Events with the ramp up of activities related to the Paris Olympic & Paralympic games and the UEFA contract.

Commercial activity

Order entry for the Group was €1,586 million. Eviden order entry was €966 million and Tech Foundations order entry was €620 million.

Book-to-bill ratio for the Group was 64% in Q1 2024, down from 73% in Q1 2023, reflecting delays in contract awards as clients await the final resolution of the Group’s refinancing plan.

Book-to-bill ratio at Eviden was 83% , improving by +4 points compared with the first quarter of 2023. The increase reflects large orders received by BDS, in particular an AI system that will perform medical and scientific research in Denmark and contracts to extend the computing capacity of existing HPCs: the Santos Dumont in Brazil and the Jean Zay in France. Main order intake also included an SAP implementation and maintenance contract for the European Union and an application maintenance contract with a public sector customer in Central Europe.

At Tech Foundations , Q1 book-to-bill was 47% , down from 68% in Q1 2023. Despite the signature of several large contact renewals, notably in Hybrid Cloud & Infrastructure with a Transportation customer and in Digital Workplace with a client in the financial sector in Americas, signature of new outsourcing contracts was delayed due to the current low demand for new services from public sector customers in Central Europe and the impact of customers delaying decisions on major IT projects, as they await the final resolution on our refinancing plan.

At the end of March 2024, the full backlog was €17.3 billion representing 1.7 years of revenue. The full qualified pipeline amounted to €6.0 billion at the end of March 2024.

Operating margin

Group operating margin in the first quarter of 2024 was €48 million representing 1.9% of revenue, compared with 3.3% in prior year.

Eviden operating margin was €22 million or 1.9%, down -330 basis points organically. Eviden’s profitability decreased, impacted by revenue decrease, lower utilization of billable resources and investment in Advanced Computing.

Tech Foundations operating margin was €26 million or 2.0%, up +50 basis points organically, reflecting the continued execution of its transformation program.

Based on current market conditions and business performance for the first quarter of the year, Atos will adjust its 2024-2027 business plan and communicate any revisions in the coming days.

Q1 2024 cash and net financial debt

As of March 31, 2024, cash & cash equivalents and short-term financial assets was €1.0 billion, down €1.4 billion compared with December 31, 2023 primarily reflecting €1.3 billion lower working capital actions compared with the end of fiscal 2023.

As of March 31, 2024, net debt was €3.9 billion compared with €2.2 billion at the end of last year, reflecting primarily the reduction of the working capital actions.

Interim financing

The implementation of the interim financing of €450 million with groups of banks and bondholders and the French state communicated on April 9, 2024 is progressing.

Refinancing discussions with financial creditors progressing with a target resolution by July 2024

Atos SE has entered into an amicable conciliation procedure in order to frame discussions with its financial creditors. This is to facilitate the emergence of a global agreement regarding the restructuring of its financial debt within a short and limited timeframe of four months, which could be further extended by one month if needed.

In this context, Atos SE presented the key parameters of its refinancing framework to its financial creditors on April 8, 2024.

Based on current market conditions and business performance for the first quarter of the year, Atos will adjust its 2024-2027 business plan, which should lead to an increase of its parameters for cash needed to fund the business and for a potential additional debt reduction.

Proposal submission date by existing stakeholders of Atos SE and third-party investors is pushed out to May 3, 2024 to give all stakeholders time to incorporate new information, which will be communicated in the coming days.

Atos will evaluate all proposals, under the aegis of the conciliator Maître Hélène Bourbouloux in the best corporate interest of the Company including its employees, clients, suppliers, shareholders, and other stakeholders, while maintaining an attractive business mix. Atos will also take into consideration the sovereign imperatives of the French state.

Atos aims for a global agreement on the new capital structure of the Company to be finalized by July 2024.

Atos will inform the market in due course of the progress of the refinancing discussions, which will result in a change in its capital structure arising from a final global refinancing agreement, including the potential issuance of new equity which will result in a dilution of the existing shareholders.

Shareholders and financial creditors will be consulted in compliance with French legal requirements.

As a reminder, the financial parameters of the refinancing framework provided by the Group are based on the Group’s current perimeter, which includes the assets of Eviden and Tech Foundations without taking into account the impact of any potential asset disposals.

These parameters act as guidelines for all interested parties who will ultimately present their proposals to the company and the conciliator.

Human resources

The total headcount was 93,642 at the end of March 2024, decreasing by -1.6% compared with 95,140 at the end of December 2023.During the first quarter, the Group hired 3,079 staff (of which 94.7% were Direct employees), while attrition rate in the first quarter of 2024 was the lowest Q1 over 3 years at 13.0% vs 15.3% in 2023.

Conference call

Atos’ Management invites you to an international conference call on the Group revenue for the first quarter of 2024, on Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 08:00 am (CET – Paris) .

You can join the webcast of the conference:

  • via the following link:
  • by telephone with the dial-in, 10 minutes prior the starting time. Please note that if you want to join the webcast by telephone, you must register in advance of the conference using the following link:

Upon registration, you will be provided with Participant Dial In Numbers, a Direct Event Passcode and a unique Registrant ID.

During the 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the call, you will need to use the conference access information provided in the email received upon registration.

After the conference, a replay of the webcast will be available on , in the Investors section.

Q1 2023 Revenue and operating margin at constant scope and exchange rates reconciliation

For the analysis of the Group’s performance, revenue and operating margin for Q1 2024 is compared with Q1 2023 revenue and operating margin at constant scope and foreign exchange rates. Reconciliation between the Q1 2023 reported revenue and operating margin and the Q1 2023 revenue and operating margin at constant scope and foreign exchange rates is presented below.

In 2023, the Group reviewed the accounting treatment of certain third-party standard software resale transactions following the decision published by ESMA in October 2023 that illustrated the IFRS IC decision and enacted a restrictive position on the assessment of Principal vs. Agent under IFRS 15 for such transactions. The Q1 2023 revenue is therefore restated by €-16 million. The restatement impacted Eviden in the Americas RBU without impacting the operating margin.

*: At constant scope and foreign exchange rates

In Q1 2024, scope effects on revenue amounted to €-239 million. They mainly related to the divesture of Italy in Southern Europe, of UCC across all regions, of EcoAct in Southern Europe, Americas and Northern Europe & Asia-Pacific and of the share in the JV with State Street in Americas.

Currency effects negatively contributed to revenue for €-4 million. They mostly came from the depreciation of the American dollar, the Argentinian peso and the Turkish lira, not compensated by the appreciation of the British pound.

This document contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including references, concerning the Group’s expected growth and profitability in the future which may significantly impact the expected performance indicated in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are linked to factors out of the control of the Company and not precisely estimated, such as market conditions or competitor’s behaviors. Any forward-looking statements made in this document are statements about Atos’s beliefs and expectations and should be evaluated as such. Forward-looking statements include statements that may relate to Atos’s plans, objectives, strategies, goals, future events, future revenues or synergies, or performance, and other information that is not historical information. Actual events or results may differ from those described in this document due to a number of risks and uncertainties that are described within the 2022 Universal Registration Document filed with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) on April 21st, 2023 under the registration number D.23-0321 and within the 2023 Consolidated financial statements published by Atos SE on March 26, 2024. Atos does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation or responsibility to update or amend any of the information above except as otherwise required by law. This document does not contain or constitute an offer of Atos’s shares for sale or an invitation or inducement to invest in Atos’s shares in France, the United States of America or any other jurisdiction.

This document includes information on specific transactions that shall be considered as projects only. In particular, any decision relating to the information or projects mentioned in this document and their terms and conditions will only be made after the ongoing in-depth analysis considering tax, legal, operational, finance, HR and all other relevant aspects have been completed and will be subject to general market conditions and other customary conditions, including governance bodies and shareholders’ approval as well as appropriate processes with the relevant employee representative bodies in accordance with applicable laws.

Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with c. 94,000 employees and annual revenue of c. € 11 billion. European number one in cybersecurity, cloud and high-performance computing, the Group provides tailored end-to-end solutions for all industries in 69 countries. A pioneer in decarbonization services and products, Atos is committed to a secure and decarbonized digital for its customers. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), and listed on Euronext Paris.

The purpose of Atos is to help design the future of the information space. Its expertise and services support the development of knowledge, education and research in a multicultural approach and contribute to the development of scientific and technological excellence. Across the world, the Group enables its customers and employees, and members of societies at large to live, work and develop sustainably, in a safe and secure information space.

Investor relations : David Pierre-Kahn | [email protected] | +33 6 28 51 45 96

Individual shareholders : 0805 65 00 75

Press contact : [email protected]

* Unaudited ** Cash & cash equivalents and short-term financial assets

How to Write a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Determined female African-American entrepreneur scaling a mountain while wearing a large backpack. Represents the journey to starting and growing a business and needing to write a business plan to get there.

Noah Parsons

24 min. read

Updated April 17, 2024

Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. 

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to write a business plan that’s detailed enough to impress bankers and potential investors, while giving you the tools to start, run, and grow a successful business.

  • The basics of business planning

If you’re reading this guide, then you already know why you need a business plan . 

You understand that planning helps you: 

  • Raise money
  • Grow strategically
  • Keep your business on the right track 

As you start to write your plan, it’s useful to zoom out and remember what a business plan is .

At its core, a business plan is an overview of the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy: how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. 

A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It’s also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. 

After completing your plan, you can use it as a management tool to track your progress toward your goals. Updating and adjusting your forecasts and budgets as you go is one of the most important steps you can take to run a healthier, smarter business. 

We’ll dive into how to use your plan later in this article.

There are many different types of plans , but we’ll go over the most common type here, which includes everything you need for an investor-ready plan. However, if you’re just starting out and are looking for something simpler—I recommend starting with a one-page business plan . It’s faster and easier to create. 

It’s also the perfect place to start if you’re just figuring out your idea, or need a simple strategic plan to use inside your business.

Dig deeper : How to write a one-page business plan

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  • What to include in your business plan

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally just one to two pages. Most people write it last because it’s a summary of the complete business plan.

Ideally, the executive summary can act as a stand-alone document that covers the highlights of your detailed plan. 

In fact, it’s common for investors to ask only for the executive summary when evaluating your business. If they like what they see in the executive summary, they’ll often follow up with a request for a complete plan, a pitch presentation , or more in-depth financial forecasts .

Your executive summary should include:

  • A summary of the problem you are solving
  • A description of your product or service
  • An overview of your target market
  • A brief description of your team
  • A summary of your financials
  • Your funding requirements (if you are raising money)

Dig Deeper: How to write an effective executive summary

Products and services description

This is where you describe exactly what you’re selling, and how it solves a problem for your target market. The best way to organize this part of your plan is to start by describing the problem that exists for your customers. After that, you can describe how you plan to solve that problem with your product or service. 

This is usually called a problem and solution statement .

To truly showcase the value of your products and services, you need to craft a compelling narrative around your offerings. How will your product or service transform your customers’ lives or jobs? A strong narrative will draw in your readers.

This is also the part of the business plan to discuss any competitive advantages you may have, like specific intellectual property or patents that protect your product. If you have any initial sales, contracts, or other evidence that your product or service is likely to sell, include that information as well. It will show that your idea has traction , which can help convince readers that your plan has a high chance of success.

Market analysis

Your target market is a description of the type of people that you plan to sell to. You might even have multiple target markets, depending on your business. 

A market analysis is the part of your plan where you bring together all of the information you know about your target market. Basically, it’s a thorough description of who your customers are and why they need what you’re selling. You’ll also include information about the growth of your market and your industry .

Try to be as specific as possible when you describe your market. 

Include information such as age, income level, and location—these are what’s called “demographics.” If you can, also describe your market’s interests and habits as they relate to your business—these are “psychographics.” 

Related: Target market examples

Essentially, you want to include any knowledge you have about your customers that is relevant to how your product or service is right for them. With a solid target market, it will be easier to create a sales and marketing plan that will reach your customers. That’s because you know who they are, what they like to do, and the best ways to reach them.

Next, provide any additional information you have about your market. 

What is the size of your market ? Is the market growing or shrinking? Ideally, you’ll want to demonstrate that your market is growing over time, and also explain how your business is positioned to take advantage of any expected changes in your industry.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write a market analysis

Competitive analysis

Part of defining your business opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage is. To do this effectively, you need to know as much about your competitors as your target customers. 

Every business has some form of competition. If you don’t think you have competitors, then explore what alternatives there are in the market for your product or service. 

For example: In the early years of cars, their main competition was horses. For social media, the early competition was reading books, watching TV, and talking on the phone.

A good competitive analysis fully lays out the competitive landscape and then explains how your business is different. Maybe your products are better made, or cheaper, or your customer service is superior. Maybe your competitive advantage is your location – a wide variety of factors can ultimately give you an advantage.

Dig Deeper: How to write a competitive analysis for your business plan

Marketing and sales plan

The marketing and sales plan covers how you will position your product or service in the market, the marketing channels and messaging you will use, and your sales tactics. 

The best place to start with a marketing plan is with a positioning statement . 

This explains how your business fits into the overall market, and how you will explain the advantages of your product or service to customers. You’ll use the information from your competitive analysis to help you with your positioning. 

For example: You might position your company as the premium, most expensive but the highest quality option in the market. Or your positioning might focus on being locally owned and that shoppers support the local economy by buying your products.

Once you understand your positioning, you’ll bring this together with the information about your target market to create your marketing strategy . 

This is how you plan to communicate your message to potential customers. Depending on who your customers are and how they purchase products like yours, you might use many different strategies, from social media advertising to creating a podcast. Your marketing plan is all about how your customers discover who you are and why they should consider your products and services. 

While your marketing plan is about reaching your customers—your sales plan will describe the actual sales process once a customer has decided that they’re interested in what you have to offer. 

If your business requires salespeople and a long sales process, describe that in this section. If your customers can “self-serve” and just make purchases quickly on your website, describe that process. 

A good sales plan picks up where your marketing plan leaves off. The marketing plan brings customers in the door and the sales plan is how you close the deal.

Together, these specific plans paint a picture of how you will connect with your target audience, and how you will turn them into paying customers.

Dig deeper: What to include in your sales and marketing plan

Business operations

The operations section describes the necessary requirements for your business to run smoothly. It’s where you talk about how your business works and what day-to-day operations look like. 

Depending on how your business is structured, your operations plan may include elements of the business like:

  • Supply chain management
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Equipment and technology
  • Distribution

Some businesses distribute their products and reach their customers through large retailers like, Walmart, Target, and grocery store chains. 

These businesses should review how this part of their business works. The plan should discuss the logistics and costs of getting products onto store shelves and any potential hurdles the business may have to overcome.

If your business is much simpler than this, that’s OK. This section of your business plan can be either extremely short or more detailed, depending on the type of business you are building.

For businesses selling services, such as physical therapy or online software, you can use this section to describe the technology you’ll leverage, what goes into your service, and who you will partner with to deliver your services.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write the operations chapter of your plan

Key milestones and metrics

Although it’s not required to complete your business plan, mapping out key business milestones and the metrics can be incredibly useful for measuring your success.

Good milestones clearly lay out the parameters of the task and set expectations for their execution. You’ll want to include:

  • A description of each task
  • The proposed due date
  • Who is responsible for each task

If you have a budget, you can include projected costs to hit each milestone. You don’t need extensive project planning in this section—just list key milestones you want to hit and when you plan to hit them. This is your overall business roadmap. 

Possible milestones might be:

  • Website launch date
  • Store or office opening date
  • First significant sales
  • Break even date
  • Business licenses and approvals

You should also discuss the key numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common metrics worth tracking include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Profit per customer
  • Repeat purchases

It’s perfectly fine to start with just a few metrics and grow the number you are tracking over time. You also may find that some metrics simply aren’t relevant to your business and can narrow down what you’re tracking.

Dig Deeper: How to use milestones in your business plan

Organization and management team

Investors don’t just look for great ideas—they want to find great teams. Use this chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire . You should also provide a quick overview of your location and history if you’re already up and running.

Briefly highlight the relevant experiences of each key team member in the company. It’s important to make the case for why yours is the right team to turn an idea into a reality. 

Do they have the right industry experience and background? Have members of the team had entrepreneurial successes before? 

If you still need to hire key team members, that’s OK. Just note those gaps in this section.

Your company overview should also include a summary of your company’s current business structure . The most common business structures include:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partnership

Be sure to provide an overview of how the business is owned as well. Does each business partner own an equal portion of the business? How is ownership divided? 

Potential lenders and investors will want to know the structure of the business before they will consider a loan or investment.

Dig Deeper: How to write about your company structure and team

Financial plan

Last, but certainly not least, is your financial plan chapter. 

Entrepreneurs often find this section the most daunting. But, business financials for most startups are less complicated than you think, and a business degree is certainly not required to build a solid financial forecast. 

A typical financial forecast in a business plan includes the following:

  • Sales forecast : An estimate of the sales expected over a given period. You’ll break down your forecast into the key revenue streams that you expect to have.
  • Expense budget : Your planned spending such as personnel costs , marketing expenses, and taxes.
  • Profit & Loss : Brings together your sales and expenses and helps you calculate planned profits.
  • Cash Flow : Shows how cash moves into and out of your business. It can predict how much cash you’ll have on hand at any given point in the future.
  • Balance Sheet : A list of the assets, liabilities, and equity in your company. In short, it provides an overview of the financial health of your business. 

A strong business plan will include a description of assumptions about the future, and potential risks that could impact the financial plan. Including those will be especially important if you’re writing a business plan to pursue a loan or other investment.

Dig Deeper: How to create financial forecasts and budgets

This is the place for additional data, charts, or other information that supports your plan.

Including an appendix can significantly enhance the credibility of your plan by showing readers that you’ve thoroughly considered the details of your business idea, and are backing your ideas up with solid data.

Just remember that the information in the appendix is meant to be supplementary. Your business plan should stand on its own, even if the reader skips this section.

Dig Deeper : What to include in your business plan appendix

Optional: Business plan cover page

Adding a business plan cover page can make your plan, and by extension your business, seem more professional in the eyes of potential investors, lenders, and partners. It serves as the introduction to your document and provides necessary contact information for stakeholders to reference.

Your cover page should be simple and include:

  • Company logo
  • Business name
  • Value proposition (optional)
  • Business plan title
  • Completion and/or update date
  • Address and contact information
  • Confidentiality statement

Just remember, the cover page is optional. If you decide to include it, keep it very simple and only spend a short amount of time putting it together.

Dig Deeper: How to create a business plan cover page

How to use AI to help write your business plan

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can speed up the business plan writing process and help you think through concepts like market segmentation and competition. These tools are especially useful for taking ideas that you provide and converting them into polished text for your business plan.

The best way to use AI for your business plan is to leverage it as a collaborator , not a replacement for human creative thinking and ingenuity. 

AI can come up with lots of ideas and act as a brainstorming partner. It’s up to you to filter through those ideas and figure out which ones are realistic enough to resonate with your customers. 

There are pros and cons of using AI to help with your business plan . So, spend some time understanding how it can be most helpful before just outsourcing the job to AI.

Learn more: 10 AI prompts you need to write a business plan

  • Writing tips and strategies

To help streamline the business plan writing process, here are a few tips and key questions to answer to make sure you get the most out of your plan and avoid common mistakes .  

Determine why you are writing a business plan

Knowing why you are writing a business plan will determine your approach to your planning project. 

For example: If you are writing a business plan for yourself, or just to use inside your own business , you can probably skip the section about your team and organizational structure. 

If you’re raising money, you’ll want to spend more time explaining why you’re looking to raise the funds and exactly how you will use them.

Regardless of how you intend to use your business plan , think about why you are writing and what you’re trying to get out of the process before you begin.

Keep things concise

Probably the most important tip is to keep your business plan short and simple. There are no prizes for long business plans . The longer your plan is, the less likely people are to read it. 

So focus on trimming things down to the essentials your readers need to know. Skip the extended, wordy descriptions and instead focus on creating a plan that is easy to read —using bullets and short sentences whenever possible.

Have someone review your business plan

Writing a business plan in a vacuum is never a good idea. Sometimes it’s helpful to zoom out and check if your plan makes sense to someone else. You also want to make sure that it’s easy to read and understand.

Don’t wait until your plan is “done” to get a second look. Start sharing your plan early, and find out from readers what questions your plan leaves unanswered. This early review cycle will help you spot shortcomings in your plan and address them quickly, rather than finding out about them right before you present your plan to a lender or investor.

If you need a more detailed review, you may want to explore hiring a professional plan writer to thoroughly examine it.

Use a free business plan template and business plan examples to get started

Knowing what information to include in a business plan is sometimes not quite enough. If you’re struggling to get started or need additional guidance, it may be worth using a business plan template. 

There are plenty of great options available (we’ve rounded up our 8 favorites to streamline your search).

But, if you’re looking for a free downloadable business plan template , you can get one right now; download the template used by more than 1 million businesses. 

Or, if you just want to see what a completed business plan looks like, check out our library of over 550 free business plan examples . 

We even have a growing list of industry business planning guides with tips for what to focus on depending on your business type.

Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re writing your business plan. Some entrepreneurs get sucked into the writing and research process, and don’t focus enough on actually getting their business started. 

Here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them:

Not talking to your customers : This is one of the most common mistakes. It’s easy to assume that your product or service is something that people want. Before you invest too much in your business and too much in the planning process, make sure you talk to your prospective customers and have a good understanding of their needs.

  • Overly optimistic sales and profit forecasts: By nature, entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. But it’s good to temper that optimism a little when you’re planning, and make sure your forecasts are grounded in reality. 
  • Spending too much time planning: Yes, planning is crucial. But you also need to get out and talk to customers, build prototypes of your product and figure out if there’s a market for your idea. Make sure to balance planning with building.
  • Not revising the plan: Planning is useful, but nothing ever goes exactly as planned. As you learn more about what’s working and what’s not—revise your plan, your budgets, and your revenue forecast. Doing so will provide a more realistic picture of where your business is going, and what your financial needs will be moving forward.
  • Not using the plan to manage your business: A good business plan is a management tool. Don’t just write it and put it on the shelf to collect dust – use it to track your progress and help you reach your goals.
  • Presenting your business plan

The planning process forces you to think through every aspect of your business and answer questions that you may not have thought of. That’s the real benefit of writing a business plan – the knowledge you gain about your business that you may not have been able to discover otherwise.

With all of this knowledge, you’re well prepared to convert your business plan into a pitch presentation to present your ideas. 

A pitch presentation is a summary of your plan, just hitting the highlights and key points. It’s the best way to present your business plan to investors and team members.

Dig Deeper: Learn what key slides should be included in your pitch deck

Use your business plan to manage your business

One of the biggest benefits of planning is that it gives you a tool to manage your business better. With a revenue forecast, expense budget, and projected cash flow, you know your targets and where you are headed.

And yet, nothing ever goes exactly as planned – it’s the nature of business.

That’s where using your plan as a management tool comes in. The key to leveraging it for your business is to review it periodically and compare your forecasts and projections to your actual results.

Start by setting up a regular time to review the plan – a monthly review is a good starting point. During this review, answer questions like:

  • Did you meet your sales goals?
  • Is spending following your budget?
  • Has anything gone differently than what you expected?

Now that you see whether you’re meeting your goals or are off track, you can make adjustments and set new targets. 

Maybe you’re exceeding your sales goals and should set new, more aggressive goals. In that case, maybe you should also explore more spending or hiring more employees. 

Or maybe expenses are rising faster than you projected. If that’s the case, you would need to look at where you can cut costs.

A plan, and a method for comparing your plan to your actual results , is the tool you need to steer your business toward success.

Learn More: How to run a regular plan review

Free business plan templates and examples

Kickstart your business plan writing with one of our free business plan templates or recommended tools.

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How to write a business plan FAQ

What is a business plan?

A document that describes your business , the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy, how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

What are the benefits of a business plan?

A business plan helps you understand where you want to go with your business and what it will take to get there. It reduces your overall risk, helps you uncover your business’s potential, attracts investors, and identifies areas for growth.

Having a business plan ultimately makes you more confident as a business owner and more likely to succeed for a longer period of time.

What are the 7 steps of a business plan?

The seven steps to writing a business plan include:

  • Write a brief executive summary
  • Describe your products and services.
  • Conduct market research and compile data into a cohesive market analysis.
  • Describe your marketing and sales strategy.
  • Outline your organizational structure and management team.
  • Develop financial projections for sales, revenue, and cash flow.
  • Add any additional documents to your appendix.

What are the 5 most common business plan mistakes?

There are plenty of mistakes that can be made when writing a business plan. However, these are the 5 most common that you should do your best to avoid:

  • 1. Not taking the planning process seriously.
  • Having unrealistic financial projections or incomplete financial information.
  • Inconsistent information or simple mistakes.
  • Failing to establish a sound business model.
  • Not having a defined purpose for your business plan.

What questions should be answered in a business plan?

Writing a business plan is all about asking yourself questions about your business and being able to answer them through the planning process. You’ll likely be asking dozens and dozens of questions for each section of your plan.

However, these are the key questions you should ask and answer with your business plan:

  • How will your business make money?
  • Is there a need for your product or service?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • How will you reach your customers?
  • How will you measure success?

How long should a business plan be?

The length of your business plan fully depends on what you intend to do with it. From the SBA and traditional lender point of view, a business plan needs to be whatever length necessary to fully explain your business. This means that you prove the viability of your business, show that you understand the market, and have a detailed strategy in place.

If you intend to use your business plan for internal management purposes, you don’t necessarily need a full 25-50 page business plan. Instead, you can start with a one-page plan to get all of the necessary information in place.

What are the different types of business plans?

While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.

Traditional business plan: The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used when applying for funding or pitching to investors. This type of business plan follows the outline above and can be anywhere from 10-50 pages depending on the amount of detail included, the complexity of your business, and what you include in your appendix.

Business model canvas: The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.

One-page business plan: This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business. You’ll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences. It’s most useful for those exploring ideas, needing to validate their business model, or who need an internal plan to help them run and manage their business.

Lean Plan: The Lean Plan is less of a specific document type and more of a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, test, review, refine, and take action based on performance. It’s faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.

What’s the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan?

A business plan covers the “who” and “what” of your business. It explains what your business is doing right now and how it functions. The strategic plan explores long-term goals and explains “how” the business will get there. It encourages you to look more intently toward the future and how you will achieve your vision.

However, when approached correctly, your business plan can actually function as a strategic plan as well. If kept lean, you can define your business, outline strategic steps, and track ongoing operations all with a single plan.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. He started his career at Yahoo! and then helped start the user review site From there he started a software distribution business in the UK before coming to Palo Alto Software to run the marketing and product teams.

Start stronger by writing a quick business plan. Check out LivePlan

Table of Contents

  • Use AI to help write your plan
  • Common planning mistakes
  • Manage with your business plan
  • Templates and examples

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Student-run AI ventures dominate Business Plan Competition

The Cordoba venture team at at WSU’s 21st annual Business Plan Competition.

AI innovations and apps dominated the business ideas presented at Washington State University’s 21 st annual Business Plan Competition Thursday, April 25.

Cordoba was the big winner, taking home the Herbert B. Jones $15,000 grand prize.

Cordoba is an AI plug-in that facilitates communication between architects and clients. Using text-to-3D AI modeling, clients can specify desired designs for their homes.

Student teams presented their business ideas and competed for cash and in-kind prizes totaling $86,000 at the competition, hosted by the WSU Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE). 

Two hundred thirty-six students from nine WSU colleges, six universities, and six high schools across Washington and Idaho formed 118 venture teams that competed in three different leagues. The unique venture teams represented a wide variety of academic majors and programs of study including arts and sciences, natural resource sciences, veterinary medicine, neuroscience, global challenges, communications, business, and more.  

Venture teams participated in numerous rounds of competition over the last six weeks. WSU students competed in an initial screening round where judges reviewed their business plans. Twenty teams advanced to present in a virtual semi-final round. Foster Garvy Open League and High School League teams competed in preliminary screening rounds. The top four teams in the Foster Garvy Open and High School leagues, and the top five teams in the College League advanced to the in-person finals hosted on the WSU Pullman campus, Thursday, April 25.

Winners earn big checks, trophies at annual awards banquet

The winning teams from all three leagues were invited to an awards banquet immediately following the final presentations. During the banquet, all teams participated in a trade show where banquet attendees learned more about their business ideas. Nikki Torres (’16), Emmy award winning TV journalist and WSU alum, served as master of ceremonies for the banquet. After dinner, WSU alum Brea Starmer (’05), founder and CEO of Lions & Tigers, a professional workforce and staffing solutions company, delivered a keynote address.

The Herbert B. Jones grand prize in the College League and first place awards in the Open and High School Leagues were among the night’s highlights.

University of Washington team Happy Pop won first place in the Foster Garvy Open League. Happy Pop, a healthy alternative to popcorn, is a snack made from popped sorghum, an ancient Indian grain.

In the High School League, venture team Protein Palace from Mercer Island High School won first place. A fast casual restaurant specializing in high protein bowls and sandwiches, Protein Palaces tracks macronutrients to help patrons meet nutritional goals.

Venture teams on trend with AI and tech changes in business

Student venture teams developed innovative ways to use AI to improve business and enhance personal lives. Their ideas included AI plugins that enable 3D modeling in architecture, custom clothing designs, and nutritional planning. Teams also presented a variety of apps designed to help users find available parking in busy locations, create customized digital bookshelves, collaborate on grocery shopping, and preview hiking trails.

“Our student entrepreneurs are keenly aware of the current trends in business,” said Marie Mayes, CFE faculty director. “The increase we’ve seen in venture ideas around the AI, app, and technology spaces shows these students are aware of the changing market. The entrepreneurial learning they receive at WSU and through this competition is preparing a workforce ready to capitalize on and succeed in that market.”

Winning teams announced

More than 90 academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and other industry professionals judged the competition. Teams were evaluated on presentation, development of a solution for a customer problem, value proposition, market opportunity, competitive advantages, go-to-market strategy, financials, and investment analysis. The teams were also evaluated on the merit of their ideas and business plans.

In addition to sponsoring the grand prizes, the Herbert B. Jones Foundation sponsored merit awards worth $2,500 each for best-written plan, best presentation, best technology venture, and best social impact business. BECU sponsored a FinTech merit prize awarded to the team that presented the most innovative idea in the financial technology space. Foster Garvey sponsored the Foster Garvy Open League. In the High School League, the Believe in Me Foundation sponsored all the prizes except for the grand prize, which was sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation.

The winning teams are:

WSU College League:

  • Cordoba, $15,000 Cordoba is an AI plug-in that facilitates communication between architects and clients.
  • PicsGenie, $10,000 PicsGenie uses AI to allow anyone to customize shirts in under 15 seconds.
  • Snap Chains, $7,000 Snap Chains is an alternative snow chain designed for instant installation and removal.
  • Serenity Spaces, $4,000 Serenity Spaces is a furnishing company that allows individuals to rent customized furnishing packages.  
  • Main Street Trader Bar and Grill, $2,000 Main Street Trader Bar and Grill is a restaurant in Vancouver, Washington, offering diverse food, drink, and live entertainment.

Foster Garvy Open League:

  • Happy Pop, $5,000 Happy Pop is a snack made from popped sorghum, an ancient Indian grain.

High School League:

  • Protein Palace, $5,000 Protein Palace is a fast casual restaurant specializing in high protein bowls and sandwiches.
  • Eco Trail, $2,000 Eco Trail is an app that allows hikers to view a trail before they hike it.
  • 7b Surf Co., $1,000 7b Surf Co. offers professional wake surfing lessons to individuals living and vacationing in Sandpoint, Idaho.
  • Victoria Paints, $750 Victoria Paints offers affordable custom wall art.

Herbert B. Jones Merit Prize Winners:

  • Best Written Plan: Snap Chains, $2,500
  • Best Presentation: Snap Chains, $2,500
  • Best Technology Venture: Cordoba, $2,500
  • Best Social Impact Business: Serenity Spaces, $2,500

BECU Merit Prize Winner:

  • BECU Best FinTech: Serinity Spaces, $5,000

Additional Merit Prize Winner:

  • Best in Trade Show: Tripzy, $5,000

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Money latest: Gameboys, Sindy dolls, designer shoes, 1950s furniture - the items in your attic that could be worth a small fortune

Gumtree's most popular items include rare stamps, Gameboys and Pokemon cards. Read this and all the latest consumer and personal finance news below, plus leave a comment or submit a consumer dispute or money problem in the box.

Monday 29 April 2024 19:46, UK

  • Three of UK's biggest lenders up mortgage rates
  • Annual mortgage repayments have increased by up to 70% since 2021
  • Higher food prices and shortages warning - as new Brexit checks begin this week
  • People on disability benefits could receive vouchers rather than cash

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  • Gameboys, Sindy dolls, designer shoes, 1950s furniture: The items in your attic that could be worth a small fortune
  • Money Problem : 'A company isn't abiding by written warranty for dodgy building work - what can I do?'  
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  • The world of dark tourism - what is it, is it ethical and where can you go?

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Strikes at Heathrow Airport are taking place over the next few weeks, with the first one already under way.

Staff at the UK's biggest airport are set to walk out during the early bank holiday in May, with their union warning planes could be "delayed, disrupted and grounded".

Click here to find out when all the strikes are, what disruption is expected and which airlines are affected...

The average price paid for comprehensive motor insurance rose 1% in the first quarter of the year, according to industry data indicating an easing in the steep rises seen last year.

The latest tracker issued by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) showed a 1% increase on the previous three months to £635.

That was despite the average claim paid rising 8% to reach a record of £4,800, the body said.

The ABI said the disparity showed that its members were "absorbing" additional costs and not passing them on.

Nevertheless, the average policy was still 33%, or £157, higher between January and March compared to the same period last year.

Read the full story here ...

Getir , the grocery delivery app, has abandoned a European expansion that is set to result in the loss of around 1,500 jobs in the UK.

Sky News had previously revealed that the Turkey-based company, which means "to bring" in Turkish, had  successfully raised money from investors to fund its withdrawals  from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

It had already departed other countries including Italy and Spain.

The exits were prompted by growing losses linked to the company's rapid expansion.

Waitrose is launching an exclusive range of products with popular chef Yotam Ottolenghi today. 

The Israeli-British chef is famous for his Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired food, and has worked with the supermarket to release products including a pasta sauce, spice blend and shawarma marinade. 

It is the first time Ottolenghi has partnered with a supermarket in such a way. 

The full range will be available in Waitrose shops, and from today, while a selection of products will be available from the supermarket on Deliveroo and Uber Eats. 

An introductory 20% off offer is being launched until 18 June. 

The range includes: 

  • Ottolenghi Miso Pesto 165g (£4)
  • Ottolenghi Kalamata Olive & Harissa Sauce  350g (£4.50)
  • Ottolenghi Pomegranate, Rose & Preserved Lemon Harissa 170g (£5)
  • Ottolenghi Green Harissa 170g (£5)
  • Ottolenghi Aleppo & Other Chillies Blend (£3.95)
  • Ottolenghi Sweet & Smokey Blend (£3.95)
  • Ottolenghi Citrus & Spice Blend (£3.95)
  • Ottolenghi Red Chilli Sauce (£4.50)
  • Ottolenghi Shawarma Marinade (£4)

Ottolenghi said he had "always been super eager to get our flavours onto people's dinner plates nationwide, not just in London, without having to cook it from scratch every single time". 

He added: "I hate to admit it but the pasta sauce already features heavily in my home kitchen, when no one is looking."

The cost of bread, biscuits and beer could increase this year due to the impact of the unusually wet autumn and winter on UK harvests.

Research suggests that production of wheat, oats, barley and oilseed rape could drop by four million tonnes (17.5%) compared with 2023.

The wet weather has resulted in lower levels of planting, while flooding and storms over winter caused farmers more losses.

The predictions come just as the rate of price increases on many food items begins to slow as inflation falls.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) analysed forecasts from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHBD) and government yield data.

It found a "real risk" of beer, biscuits and bread becoming more expensive if the poor harvest increases costs for producers, according to its lead analyst Tom Lancaster.

Beer prices could be affected because the wet weather is still disrupting the planting of spring crops such as barley, the ECIU said.

And potatoes might also see a price hike in the coming months, with growers warning of a major shortage in the autumn due to persistent wet weather.

By Emily Mee , Money team

When I think about the toys of my childhood - my pink Barbie car, my Gameboy Micro, my collection of Pokemon cards - I can't tell you where they went. 

Maybe they were shipped off to a charity shop at some point... Or perhaps they're in the attic? 

While my hot pink Gameboy Micro is lost to the void of time (or a cardboard box somewhere in my mum's house), other versions of it are selling on eBay for £100 or more. 

And there are Pokemon cards selling for anything from a tenner to hundreds or even thousands of pounds. 

It's possible you also have items at home that are a collector's dream. 

Gumtree says its collectables category is already proving to be a "hotbed of activity" this year, with listings up 22% in 2024 so far. 

Its most popular items include rare stamps, coins, war memorabilia and Pokemon cards. 

Spring is often the most popular time for buying and selling collectibles, with demand spiking in March and April. 

We've enlisted the help of TV presenter and collectables expert Tracy Martin to give an idea of what could make you an easy buck. 

Old toys making a 'retro comeback'

Tracy explains that while trends change, vintage toys tend to stand the test of time. 

"Toys are always going to be popular because they tap into nostalgia, our childhood memories," she says, explaining that adults like to buy the toys they used to have. 

Perhaps you were into cars, and you've got some old diecast vehicles from Matchbox, Corgi or Dinky Toys. 

A quick look on toy auction site shows a Corgi Toys "James Bond" Aston Martin estimated to sell for between £600 to £700 - while others are likely to fetch £50 to £60. 

Sindy dolls are also particularly sought after - particularly those from the 1960s - and Barbie dolls from the 1990s too. 

Pokemon cards have seen a "massive surge", Tracy says, with people paying "thousands and thousands of pounds" for good unopened sets. 

She's even seen examples of people paying £16,000 upwards. 

Another up-and-coming market is games consoles, such as Gameboys, vintage consoles and PlayStations, which are making a "retro comeback".

What else could earn you some cash?

Tracy says there's currently a surge in people wanting to buy "mid century" furniture, which is dated to roughly 1945 to 1965 and typically uses clean lines and has a timeless feel. 

Vintage Danish furniture is sought after, particularly tables and chairs with good designer names such as Wegner, Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen.

Prices range from the low hundreds into the thousands.

People will also look out for vintage framed prints by artists such as Tretchikoff, J.H. Lynch and Shabner - these can range in price from £50 upwards to a few hundred pounds plus. 

Vintage clothes, handbags and shoes can fetch a good price - but you can also invest in modern pieces. 

Tracy suggests looking out for good classic designs with high-end designer names such as Gucci, Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. 

Modern designers such as Irregular Choice, Vendula and Lulu Guinness are also collected. 

Collaborations with designers and celebrities can do well as they're often limited edition. 

For example, Tracy says the H&M x Paco Rabanne maxi silver sequin dress retailed at £279.99 last year but now sells for in excess of £600. 

When it comes to shoes, "the quirkier the design the better" - so look out for brands such as Irregular Choice and Joe Browns. 

Converse and Dr Martens collaborations also do well, depending on the design and condition, as well as Adidas and Nike limited edition trainers. 

What's the best way to sell?  

Tracy recommends to always research before selling your items, as they might perform better on different platforms and you can also get an idea of how much they sell for. 

For example, Vinted can be a good place to sell clothes and shoes, while other items might be better suited for sale on Gumtree, eBay or Etsy. 

Tracy's favourite way to sell is through auction - especially if there are specialist sales. 

Vectis is one of the biggest and most popular for toy selling. 

Interests in different periods and items can go up and down, but for the time being vintage pieces from the 1980s and 90s are popular. 

How much you'll be able to get from an item often takes into account its rarity, condition, whether it reflects a period in time, and if it's got a good name behind it. 

You never know - you might be sitting on a treasure trove. 

Annual mortgage repayments have increased by up to 70% since 2021, according to new data from Zoopla .

The biggest impact of rising interest rates has been in southern England where house prices are higher.

Across the South West, South East and East of England, the annual mortgage cost for an average home is £5,000 higher than previously. This rises to £7,500 in London.

But the universal uptick in mortgage costs has been less pronounced in other parts of the UK, with the North East seeing a £2,350 increase.

In a bid to tackle inflation, the Bank of England has raised the base rate from 0.1% in December 2021 to a 16-year high of 5.25% now.

The Zoopla research looked at the average home buyer taking out a 70% loan-to-value mortgage.

This week seems to be starting where last week left off - with three major lenders announcing further hikes in mortgage rates.

Amid uncertainty of the timing of interest rate cuts from the Bank of England  this year, swap rates (which dictate how much it costs lenders to lend) have been rising in recent weeks.

Financial markets currently see two rate cuts by the Bank of England this year.

We've reported on a string of rate bumps from the high street over the last 10 days, and this morning NatWest, Santander and Nationwide moved.

In its second hikes announcement in less than a week, NatWest laid out increases across its full range of residential and buy-to-let fixed deals of up to 0.22%.

Santander, meanwhile, announced increases for both fixed and tracker deals across their residential and buy-to-let products - up to 0.25%.

The same hikes are being imposed for a range of Nationwide deals.

All of these will kick in tomorrow.

Amit Patel, adviser at Trinity Finance, told Newspage it was "not a great start to the week". 

"This is not good news for borrowers," he said.

Where will the base rate go this year?

The majority of the bets, according to LSEG data, are on the first cut coming in August (previously this was June) and the second in December.

This would take Bank rate from the current level of 5.25% to 4.75%.

Disabled people could receive vouchers instead of monthly payments under proposed changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The changes could see people being provided with either one-off grants for specific costs such as home adaptation, or being directed to "alternative means of support" rather than financial support.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride is set to announce plans today to overhaul the way disability benefits work.

In a Green Paper due to be published alongside Mr Stride's statement to the Commons, ministers will set out plans to reform Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the main disability benefit, through changes to eligibility criteria and assessments.

The plans also include proposals to "move away from a fixed cash benefit system", meaning people with some conditions, such as depression and anxiety, will no longer receive regular payments but rather get improved access to treatment if their condition does not involve extra costs.

Speaking to Sky News earlier, Mr Stride said: "I want us to have a grown-up, sensible conversation about a benefit called PIP that has not been reviewed in over a decade.

"And I want to ask the question, is it fit for purpose given the world that we're in today, in which mental health issues sadly present more of an issue than they did a decade ago."

By James Sillars , business reporter

A fresh high for the FTSE 100 to start the week.

The index of leading shares in London was 0.5% up at 8,179 in early dealing.

The gains were led by miners and financial stocks.

Dragging on the performance were some consumer-facing brands including JD Sports and Flutter Entertainment.

One other development of note to mention is that stubbornly high oil price.

A barrel of Brent crude is currently trading almost 1% down on the day.

But it remains at $88 a barrel.

The market has been pulled by various forces this month, with hopes of a rebound in demand in China among them.

The latest decline is said to reflect peace talks being held between Israel and Hamas.

A demand for smaller homes has driven growth in UK property prices early in 2024, according to research by Halifax.

Data from the bank's house price index suggests annual property price growth hit 1.9% in February this year - a significant rise from -4.1% just three months prior.

That equates to a rise in prices of £5,318 over the past year.

It follows interest rates stabilising, Halifax says, after a sharp rise over the past two years which squeezed mortgage affordability.

A key driver behind rising prices, Halifax says, has been first-time buyers, who made up 53% of all homes bought with a mortgage in 2023 - the highest proportion since 1995.

And it's smaller homes that have recorded the biggest increases in price growth in the early part of this year - with buyers adjusting their expectations to compensate for higher borrowing costs.

Flats and terraced houses made up 57% of all homes purchased by first-time buyers last year.

This varies by region - for example, in London, flats and terraced homes accounted for 90% of all first-time buyer purchases.

Challenges remain

However, Amanda Bryden, head of Halifax mortgages, said "it's important not to gloss over the challenges" facing the UK housing market, given the "impact of higher interest rates on mortgage affordability" and "continued lack of supply of new homes".

"But scratch beneath the surface and there is a more nuanced story, one which shows that demand for different property types in different parts of the country can vary hugely," she added.

"As interest rates have stabilised and buyers adjust to the new economic reality of owning a home, one way to compensate for higher borrowing costs is to target smaller properties.

"This is especially true among first-time buyers, who have proven to be resilient over recent years, and now account for the largest proportion of homes purchased with a mortgage in almost 30 years."

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Drone attacks in Moscow’s glittering business district leave residents on edge

People stroll at embankment of the Moscow River in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, with the "Moscow City" business district in the background. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital's economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

People stroll at embankment of the Moscow River in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, with the “Moscow City” business district in the background. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital’s economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

A couple sit in a park in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, with the “Moscow City” business district in the background. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital’s economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

Police officers stand near the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital’s economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

People stroll at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital’s economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

People sit in a cafe in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital’s economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites shaken and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power. 2023. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

A view of the damaged building is seen in the “Moscow City” business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, early Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. Ukrainian drones again targeted Moscow and its surroundings early Tuesday morning, the Russian military reported. Two of three launched were shot down outside Moscow, while one crashed into a skyscraper in the Moscow City business district, damaging the building’s facade. (AP Photo)

Investigators examine an area next to damaged building in the “Moscow City” business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow, Russia, early Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. Ukrainian drones again targeted Moscow and its surroundings early Tuesday morning, the Russian military reported. Two of three launched were shot down outside Moscow, while one crashed into a skyscraper in the Moscow City business district, damaging the building’s facade. (AP Photo)

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The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district dominate the skyline of the Russian capital. The sleek glass-and-steel buildings -- designed to attract investment amid an economic boom in the early 2000s – are a dramatic, modern contrast to the rest of the more than 800-year-old city.

Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks that rattled some Muscovites and brought the war in Ukraine home to the seat of Russian power.

The attacks on Sunday and Tuesday aren’t the first to hit Moscow — a drone even struck the Kremlin harmlessly in May. But these latest blasts, which caused no casualties but blew out part of a section of windows on a high-rise building and sent glass cascading to the streets, seemed particularly unsettling.

“It’s very frightening because you wake up at night hearing explosions,” said a woman who identified herself only as Ulfiya as she walked her dog, adding that she lived in a nearby building. Like other Muscovites interviewed by The Associated Press, she did not identify herself further out of fear of retribution or for her personal safety.

A maintenance worker stands outside a damaged government building in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, following Russian drone attacks. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Another resident, who gave her name as Ekaterina, said Tuesday’s blast “sounded like thunder.”

“I think for the first time, I got really scared,” she said. “I don’t understand how people in a war zone can live like this every day and not go mad.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said it shot down two Ukrainian drones outside Moscow and had electronically jammed another, sending it crashing into the IQ-Quarter skyscraper that houses government offices like the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Digital Development and Communications, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade — the same building that was hit Sunday.

A cordon went up around the building and personnel from the fire department and the Russian Investigative Committee were at the scene. Hours later, residents strolled through the district along the Moscow River or sat on benches in the sunshine. By about 1 p.m. Tuesday, workers were already starting to replace damaged windows.

The business district, a 10-minute subway ride west of the Kremlin, is home to some of Moscow’s flashiest restaurants, offering far-reaching views of the capital and a menu of upscale fare like three types of caviar, shellfish from Russia’s Far East and French cuisine.

But there was no escaping the grim news.

While Russian state television has largely played down the strikes, one channel sandwiched a segment on how Moscow’s air defenses successfully intercepted the drones in between reports highlighting Russian attacks on Ukraine.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in Ukraine that Moscow “is rapidly getting used to a full-fledged war,” without confirming or denying Kyiv’s involvement in the drone attacks that in recent days have struck from the capital to the Crimean Peninsula .

After Sunday’s strike, the Kremlin said security would be ramped up.

Still, the size of the drone that hit the Moscow City district led analysts to question the effectiveness of the capital’s air defenses, suggesting it could have been launched from Ukraine.

“If this is the case, this would be rather embarrassing for Russia’s air defenses. If a drone has been in Russian airspace for hours, air defenses should have picked it up earlier and shot it down earlier,” said Ulrike Franke, an expert in drones and military technology at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

While they haven’t caused much physical damage, bringing the drone campaign to Moscow “blows holes in Russia’s narrative that the war on Ukraine is successful and that it is being prosecuted far away from any consequences for the Russian people themselves,” said Keir Giles, a Russia expert at the Chatham House think tank in London.

“That is something which is going to be harder and harder for Russia’s propaganda machine to explain away,” he said.

A Muscovite who identified himself to the AP only as Eldar summed up the strikes this way: “We attack them, they attack us. And it’s obvious that they will succeed somewhere, and we will succeed somewhere. We should try to strengthen the defense.”

In Odintsovo, where some of the drones were downed about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of the capital, some residents discussed the events on their local Telegram channel.

One woman talked about hearing noises that turned out to be a car or improperly closed trash containers, and seeing what she thought were drones but actually were a flock of birds, a plane and a wind-blown plastic bag.

“How is it possible to live like this?” she asked the group.

“Stop creating panic,” one member admonished her.

“If you hear a noise, be happy because it hasn’t hit you,” added another.

Burrows reported from Tallinn, Estonia.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signals Putin's plan to seize Kharkiv and create a 'sanitary zone'

  • Sergey Lavrov suggested that Russia likely intended to launch an operation to seize Kharkiv.
  • He is the first senior Kremlin official to identify the city as a potential target.
  • He said the city is important in Russia's "sanitary zone" plans to protect its borders.

Insider Today

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has strongly suggested that Russia intends to seize the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, making him the first senior Kremlin official to identify the city as a potential target outright.

During a radio interview with Russian state propagandists, Lavrov said Ukraine's second-largest city had "an important role" in Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans to create a demilitarized "sanitary zone" to protect Russian border regions from Ukrainian attacks, the think tank the Institute for the Study of War said in an update on the conflict on Friday.

Moscow has already made it clear that it believes the only way to defend Russian territory is through such a buffer zone , which would put its settlements out of reach of Ukrainian fire.

"Against the backdrop of drone attacks and the shelling of our territory: public facilities, residential buildings, measures must be taken to secure these territories," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in March.

"They can only be secured by creating some kind of buffer zone so that any means that the enemy uses to strike us are out of range," he added.

Related stories

Russia has ramped up its attack on Kharkiv in recent weeks, bombarding the city with missiles, guided bombs, and drones in what officials believe is an attempt to cut the city off from supplies and force the evacuation of civilians, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed officials.

In March, the commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, told Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform that he could not ignore reports about Russia's plans to attack Kharkiv and that his troops were preparing for such an event.

"We are carrying out a whole complex of works on the fortification of territories and positions, installing a complex system of fences, and planning the use of our troops in the event of such actions," he said.

Putin has wanted to take Kharkiv since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The city has symbolic as well as strategic value for the Russian president, as it has a majority Russian-speaking population and was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Russia lost nearly all of the territory it had gained in the wider Kharkiv region in 2022 after a rapid Ukrainian counterattack resulted in one of Ukraine's most significant victories of the conflict.

During interviews with the radio stations Sputnik, Govorit Moskva, and Komsomolskaya Pravda, Lavrov also said that Russia was willing to negotiate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy but that doing so would be "pointless for many reasons," Russian news agency Tass reported.

He added that Russia would not halt its military operation in the event of future talks.

Watch: Satellite images show scale of Russian defenses ahead of anticipated Ukraine offensive

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    Image sequences that visually depict the emotional state of the target group- successful addressing of Dove.. In order to ensure the highest possible customer satisfaction in the long term, it is absolutely necessary to find out detailed information about a market with the help of a target group analysis.. Two reasons are often responsible for the failure of many companies or start-ups.

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    Sections of your market analysis should include: Industry Description and Outlook. Target Market. Market Research Results. Competitive Analysis. Remember to properly cite your sources of information within the body of your market analysis as you write it. You and other readers of your business plan, such as potential investors, will need to ...

  4. Target Market Examples

    A target market analysis is a key part of any business plan. Let's walk you through some examples. ... bars, music venues, or businesses such as hospitals where people are working all hours - to justify targeting this group. ... Get started with your business plan template. A target market analysis is a key part of any business plan. But it ...

  5. What Is a Target Market? And How to Define Yours

    A target market is a specific group of people with shared characteristics that a business markets its products or services to. Companies use target markets to thoroughly understand their potential customers and craft marketing strategies that help them meet their business and marketing objectives. Identifying a target market is an integral part ...

  6. 6 Key Target Market Examples (+How to Find & Reach Yours)

    Home services and home improvement. Here's a target market example for businesses in the home services and home improvement industries such as plumbers, HVAC professionals, roofers, landscapers, home cleaning services, and more. Key demographics. Age range: 35-65. 50% women, 50% men. 86% are homeowners.

  7. Target Market: Definition, Purpose, Examples, Market Segments

    Target Market: A target market is the market a company wants to sell its products and services to, and it includes a targeted set of customers for whom it directs its marketing efforts ...

  8. How to Define Your Target Market in 5 Steps

    That's where market research comes in. Talking to customers and potential customers is one of the best ways to do this kind of research, but there are many approaches. 3. Use segmentation creatively. Don't limit your target market strategy for market segmentation by age, gender, and economic level.

  9. What is Target Marketing?

    Identifying your target market is part of business planning—notice that it's planning as an ongoing action not just writing a plan as a one-time event. Gathering information about your target market, like business planning, shouldn't be an exercise you do once and then never revisit.

  10. Target Market Segmentation: The Basics

    All in all, the goal of target market segmentation is to inform your company's overall business and marketing strategy. It'll help you easily create goals and develop ideas that are more audience-centric. Doing so means you know what they want and when they want it. This will increase brand loyalty in your customer base.

  11. Target Market in a Business Plan

    This section of the business plan deals with the analysis of the target market into different groups of customers (customer or target market segments) each having distinct characteristics and needs from the product. The reason for customer segmentation is to allow a different marketing plan be identified for each customer segment, dealing with ...

  12. How to Write a Market Analysis for a Business Plan

    Step 4: Calculate market value. You can use either top-down analysis or bottom-up analysis to calculate an estimate of your market value. A top-down analysis tends to be the easier option of the ...

  13. How to Successfully Analyze Target Groups in B2B Marketing

    This is possible through a well-founded B2B target group analysis, which is based on a well-fed database and empirical values and contains demographic, socio-economic as well as behaviour-specific characteristics. The finer the segmentation, the less you run the risk of wastage. If you want to target your customers - be it with personalized ...

  14. What Is a Target Market (And How to Find Yours)

    A target market is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message. They are the people who are most likely to buy your products or services, and they are united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors. The more clearly you define your target market, the better you can understand how and where ...

  15. How To Make A Business Plan: Step By Step Guide

    3. Conduct a market analysis. Conduct an in-depth analysis of your industry, competitors, and target market. This is best done with a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, identify your target market's needs, demographics, and behaviors.

  16. Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How to Write One

    Business Plan: A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a ...

  17. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  18. EU Adopts Mandatory Rules on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

    A company's climate transition plan must include, amongst other things, science-based, time-bound targets covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions for 2030 - and every five years after until 2050. The transition plan needs to be updated annually and must contain a description of the progress the company has made towards achieving its targets.

  19. Trump Allies Are Drafting Plans to Erode the Fed's ...

    A group of the former president's associates and supporters have been busy in recent months drafting a 10-page manifesto plotting policy shifts and suggesting that the presidential candidate ...

  20. Moscow International Business Centre (MIBC)

    The Moscow International Business Centre (MIBC) is an ambitious engineering project in the centre of Moscow. The site is on an old urban area near the river embankment. The goal of the project is to create a new business district within the city. The whole complex is to be built on a 100ha site (divided into 30 plots) designated for new ...

  21. Atos reports first quarter 2024 performance*

    Business plan presented on April 9 to be adjusted to reflect current business performance and trends. ... July 2024 target date to reach a refinancing agreement with financial creditors unchanged; Paris, France - April 25 2024 ... as clients await the final resolution of the Group's refinancing plan. Revenue by Regional Business Unit. In ...

  22. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It's also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. After completing your plan, you can ...

  23. What we know about the Moscow concert hall attack

    CNN —. Russia has been left reeling in the wake of the nation's worst terrorist attack in decades. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the massacre, which saw armed assailants storm a popular ...

  24. Student-run AI ventures dominate Business Plan Competition

    AI innovations and apps dominated the business ideas presented at Washington State University's 21 st annual Business Plan Competition Thursday, April 25. Cordoba was the big winner, taking home the Herbert B. Jones $15,000 grand prize. Cordoba is an AI plug-in that facilitates communication between architects and clients.

  25. Moscow International Business Center

    The Moscow International Business Center (MIBC), also known as Moscow-City, is a commercial development in Moscow, the capital of Russia.The project occupies an area of 60 hectares, and is located just east of the Third Ring Road at the western edge of the Presnensky District in the Central Administrative Okrug.Construction of the MIBC takes place on the Presnenskaya Embankment of the Moskva ...

  26. Ask a question or make a comment

    The cost of bread, biscuits and beer could increase this year due to the impact of the unusually wet autumn and winter on UK harvests. Research suggests that production of wheat, oats, barley and ...

  27. Drone attacks in Moscow's glittering business district leave residents

    A couple sit in a park in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, with the "Moscow City" business district in the background. The glittering towers of the Moscow City business district were once symbols of the Russian capital's economic boom in the early 2000s. Now they are a sign of its vulnerability, following a series of drone attacks ...

  28. US Reverses on Plan to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, WSJ Reports

    President Joe Biden's administration is delaying action on a proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes, which some activists have said would unfairly target Black smokers.. Health and Human ...

  29. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signals Putin's plan to seize

    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is the first senior Kremlin official to outright identify the city as a potential target, the ISW said. ... signals Putin's plan to seize Kharkiv and create a ...

  30. Adnoc Unit Considers Investment in UGI's Propane Business

    A unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is considering a potential investment in UGI Corp.'s propane distribution unit AmeriGas, according to people with knowledge of the matter.