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Key success factors in an industry

9 May, 2016 - 10:37

Key success factors (KSF) are areas of critical performance necessary for success in a specific industry. A firm cannot expect to be competitive in its industry without an understanding of the industry’s key success factors. Key success factors are a function of both customer needs and competitive pressures. KSFs are typically identified by completing a list in response to two questions:

  1. What do customers in my industry want?
  2. How do successful firms survive the industry’s competitive pressures?

Grocery Store KSF




Bargaining power over suppliers


Number of local competitors

Selection, including take-out

Location relative to competitors

Competitive prices


Location & parking


Service & pleasant experience


The entrepreneur must be aware of the key success factors (KSF) in his/her industry. Resources should be directed to activities that increase competitiveness on KSF and not wasted on activities that are not critical to KSFs.