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Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Market Research

We’re starting a series for anyone interested in starting their own quilt business. In today’s post, we’ll cover the first steps: conducting market research and competitive analysis.

Market Research

The first thing you should do to turn your dream into a reality is conduct market research. If you want your business to succeed, the below are pretty good indicators to start asking:

  • Demand: Does your community want a quilt store?
  • Market: How many people would shop there? (This can help determine the size of your operation.)
  • Economy: What is the income range of the community you will open in?
  • Saturation: How many competitors do you have? And how would your pricing compare to these competitors?

Compare all of these statistics against the information that’s available about quilters. Also check out the Small Business Administration for free services to help with your research.

Competitive Analysis

If in your market research you discover competitors (don’t worry, you will), the next step is to conduct a competitive analysis. This will be key to defining your business’s edge.

A competitive analysis includes determining your strengths and weaknesses, your window of opportunity to enter the market, the importance of your services, and barriers.

The Department of Justice provides a diagram of Porter’s Five Forces that will help you to determine the answers to the above. These include:

  1. Supplier Power
  2. Threat of Substitutes
  3. Degree of Rivalry
  4. Buyer Power
  5. Barriers to Entry

If after you complete this research and determine your business will be likely to succeed, you’re ready for the next step. Stay tuned next week for tips on how to write a business plan.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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