Will people want to buy what you have to offer? Probably. Most businesses take an already successful business model or service and make it their own. That doesn’t automatically mean yours will be a success. That’s why it’s important to do market research. If you open your business in the wrong location it won’t matter how awesome it is, it still could fail. That’s why it is important to determine whether there is a market for what you have to offer.
- Research what types of people want what you offer. Use google to investigate who typically buys your products or services. If you are offering a consulting service, you can also look at competitors to see if you can find their client lists to get an idea of what potential customers look like. When I was looking for information about starting a dog daycare, I found that 39% of households in the US own at least one dog and that in 2011 pets were a $50 billion industry – with $4 billion spent on pet services (dog daycare, grooming, boarding). That number has increased exponentially over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow.
- Research areas that typically contain the types of people that buy your service/product. If you are opening up a bar that will serve college-age individuals you probably do not want to open in a rural community – unless it has a university nearby. With the dog daycare, clients are typically individuals that have a decent amount of expendable income. That meant we had to look in areas that had high per capita income. For Deckci, that wasn’t as important. Because a wedding is a one-time event, people are willing to drive much farther to save money. That means the location didn’t really matter as long we were not very far from the Twin Cities.
The market research portion of a business plan is often where people are stalled. Don’t be. It’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is research who would want what you are offering, why there is a demand for what you are offering, and why your target area or location is a good fit based off your target market.
Photo Credit: Tanka V.