University of Twente Student Theses


A market scanning roadmap for the business development of SMEs : a Novel approach

Boldingh, K.E.A. (2018) A market scanning roadmap for the business development of SMEs : a Novel approach.

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Abstract:Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are constantly looking for new business opportunities to enable sustainable growth. However, this is also seen as one of the biggest challenges for SMEs to achieve. The concept of business development aims to overcome these challenges with the analytical preparation of potential growth opportunities. To be precise, a SME needs to become market oriented by scanning the market for relevant intelligence to anticipate on customers' current and future needs. However, because of time, financial and human resources constraints the methods and tools to do this are generally not available or applicable for SMEs. This research aims to overcome these obstacles in the form of a newly designed market scanning manual and roadmap. To provide a reliable foundation for this, a literature review was done. This led to the observation that current market scanning sources are not applicable for SMEs. Therefore a new source,, was introduced to obtain the required market intelligence. A market scanning manual provided the different steps on how to analyse the freely available data obtained from with the help of the visualisation software Tableau. The manual was then integrated into a roadmap to underline the linkages between the steps in the market scanning manual and the processes in the company in relation to time, the required resources and company decisions. To assess its practical significance, the newly designed roadmap was implemented and evaluated within a German SME operating in the consumer goods industry. In the evaluation both the quality and utility of the roadmap could be confirmed. The roadmap provided the SME with thirty-two potential growth opportunities in the form of new products. This more than tripled the SME's product portfolio and exceeded all the beforehand set (financial) goals. Scientifically, the research found that by combining the different but interrelated concepts of market scanning, foresight and roadmaps, it is possible to create a new method contributing to the business development of SMEs. It was demonstrated that the online data from could be successfully used as a first external market scanning source. Additionally, the roadmap determined that high quality results can be achieved with (very) limited resources. Thus, giving SMEs access to previously unreachable market and foresight intelligence to create sustainable growth.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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