Markets and Firms

A big part of my capstone project is an analysis of the market for health care sharing ministries and an organizational profile for Samaritan Ministries.  It will be a small part of my final presentation (remember it has to be 10 minutes or less) but the bulk of the paper.

The goal of the paper is to (Dr. Weinzimmer’s words) “tell a strategic story.”  By the time he gets to the recommendation, he said, the recommendation should be obvious.

I don’t like busywork.  Or research.  Especially if I can’t find a good reason for it.  But research is a necessary part of making good decisions, and market analysis and firm analysis is a big part of good corporate strategy.  And while my own skills in those areas were lacking 18 months ago, prompting the return to school, I’m much more confident in my ability to perform both research and analysis in those areas for Samaritan going forward.  And because that research is a big part of the final exam, we’ll walk into 2015 with at least the skeleton of some serious analysis.  I’m kind of excited about that.

Market analysis:  Market analysis (for this project at least) includes at least three things.

  1. External framing of the market (both looking at it from the outside-in, and the inside looking out)
  2. Opportunities for incremental growth (using tools like Porter’s Five Forces and Strategic Group Mapping)
  3. Opportunities for leap growth (by looking at value innovation, market disruptions, and segmentation adjustments)

The firm analysis will include looking at our financials and our current strategies and evaluating the health and outlook of the ministry and building to the specific recommendations in the “story.”  That part was actually pretty fun and I’m looking forward to using it as a tool with the management team as we kick next year into gear.

It’s been a hard, hard year…so much going on in this last month especially.  But the end is in sight and I’ve finally gotten enough work done on the capstone that I’m gaining more #optimism.

10 more days.


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