What is the difference between market and industry?

We are presently writing a business plan to sell Web based sports training courses to young people, their parents and coaches. However, I am having difficulty in differentiating between what is our “market” and what is our “industry.” I know that “market” is who you are selling to and “industry” is what you’re selling. However, after reading multiple business plans including one of your samples, I’m not sure if Web based training (which is part of distance learning), is our market or industry. And if it is our industry, what is our market? I know our customers are primarily affluent young people who use the Web.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

Question posted by Bplans User (488 points) 4 years ago. Answers: 1



I like this question, because I think a lot of people have the same confusion. That’s probably why you see different business plans handling this in different ways, although I think our products are fairly clear in their instructions and examples.

As far as we are concerned, your market is made up of target customers or groups of target customers, and your industry is the business you’re in. In your case that would mean the quick view is the market is affluent young people and the industry is Web based training. So the market analysis needs to explore the affluent young people with access to the Web, who they are, how many, what their needs are, trends, etc. Your industry is Web based training, and perhaps training in general or computer-aided training, so the industry analysis should explore that business, who offers what services, how big they are, what their business models might be, economics, etc.

I hope that helps,

Tim Berry

Answer posted by Tim Berry (1,423 points) 4 years ago

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