Porter's Five Forces

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Over the last year, I have seen the topic of Michael Porter's Five forces show up in almost every 300+ level course in my business studies. The importance of his topic cannot be neglected of ignored, and through the different courses and different applications of the Five forces, I've come to a fairly comprehensive understanding of how they can be used to evaluate and analyze a business or industry. In essence, what the Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model helps us to do is to evaluate and understand the relative attractiveness of a specified industry in conjunction with its competitive pressures by looking at the five individual forces. These forces include Buyer power, Supplier power, Threat of substitute products or services, Threat of new entrants, and Rivalry among existing competitors. Through analysis and understanding of these forces in a particular industry, one can more readily obtain a competitive advantage over its competition. This type of analysis has become increasingly more important due to the difficulty of the economic times we live in as it presents a model used to assess the nature of competition in an industry, and conceptualize the likelihood of sustained profitability. First we’ll take a look at a quick breakdown of the five individual forces. Supplier power is opposite of buyer power, and is high when buyers have few choices from whom to buy, and low when choices are various. Threat of substitute products or services is high when there are lots of alternatives to a product or service, and low when there are few. Threat of new entrants is high when it is easy for new competitors to enter the market, and low when it is more difficult by the use of barriers to entry. Finally, rivalry among existing competitors is high when competition is fierce in a market, and low when competition is less fierce. Interestingly enough, in addition to his
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