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Graduations – From grade to school and high school to colleges graduations are a big event.  And a big event requires big entertainment.  Target your marketing to schools leading up to graduation time to capture some of this business. Wedding ReceptionsHow to Find your CompetitorsIf you want to find your competitors and see what they are doing, you can do this by researching them. Start by using Google, Yahoo, or Bing. To search for your potential competitors, enter a keyword phrase that represents your product or service and see what comes up. For example, party rental, bounce house or inflatable.The results you get for "party rental" will no doubt include a bunch of sites that offer party rental services. Look over these sites. Make a list of what is interesting about them. What strikes your fancy when you first go to them?  Take notes as to what they are offering and how they position their products. Look at their selling points. What are their prices? All of this information will help you down the road. When you do research, take note of the conventional websites on the left hand side of the search results, and also take note of ads you see on the search pages. When you look at search results, you will see ads at the very top and on the right hand side. These are pay-per-click ads. This means the advertiser had to pay a certain fee to pay for that ad when the link in the ad is clicked. Pay attention to ads that show relevancy to your keywords. You need to do this, because not all ads will. There is a great tool that can help check out your competition. This site has a tool you can download and install. Go to The software includes a toolbar for your browser. This toolbar will provide you free useful statistics and information about  your competition. When you install this toolbar, use the feature “Site Info.” This is where you’ll get a lot of info you can use. Be careful with Alexa. All stats you get from Alexa come from people who have downloaded Alexa toolbar. Not everyone has done so. So don’t rely on it solely. SWOT AnalysisAny time you do an analysis, you will involve a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, and Threats) analysis. You will learn what your product or service strengths are as it relates to the market. These are strengths you will rely on as you develop your business in the days, months, and years ahead. You will learn what threats may be in place as it relates to your product or service. These threats may include higher cost of machine rentals, lower costs by competitors, taxes by the government, and many other threats.  You will learn what opportunities await you in your territory or market. And you will learn what weaknesses your business has that may affect the way you do business.  Here are some links to help you better understand and use SWOT Analysis: you don’t have Word, here is the same template in PDF format: