What’s your target market?
Traditionally speaking, a business exists to meet a need. If there is no need or that need is already being met, there’s no place for a business. This is basic supply and demand 101.
Even a well prepared and planned business can fail if there isn’t a market for it.
Figuring out whether or not there’s a place for your business is one of the very first things you’ll do when setting up a business. It’s going to take some work, and you might end up having to serious adjust your business model and/or who you’re targeting.
It’s not always about doing something new. Sometimes it’s about doing something better.
A truly original idea is a rare thing in this day and age. For most new businesses, you’re entering a market that’s already occupied. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. It just means you need to find your own angle – your own niche – your own place in the market.
Your potential competitors might be meeting the general needs of the customer base, but not every customer wants the exact same thing. So how do you figure all of this out?
You’re going to need to do your research
Not only will you find out if your product or service is valuable. You may find out how it can be more valuable. Researching will help you understand the size of the market and the concentration of competition out there.
Through research, you could discover a niche that’s largely being ignored.
If you can, actually talk to people in the industry
Whether it’s business people or the customers/consumers in the industry, you can learn a lot by actually talking to people who are in it. Make calls. Send emails. Create surveys.
Find the pain points and dissatisfactions that are currently there. Listen to the unheard voices.
Look at market growth
If you’re entering a rapidly growing market, there’s a lot of potential for your business finding success. That said, it’s also more likely that you’ll face new competition…
Look beyond the major competition. Are there up and comers?
All right, so let’s say you’ve found a niche or a unique angle that should allow you to reach an audience the big names are missing. The question, is someone else already building a business for that audience?
It’s easy to get so focused on the big bear in the forest that you forget about the wolves lurking in the shadows. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but you get the idea.
If You Can, Try the Small Step Approach
Not sure how much potential there is for your business idea? Or maybe you simply can’t afford to go “all in”. You don’t necessarily have to. Lots of successful businesses start as side-jobs or part-time gigs. This gives you the perfect opportunity to test market potential and gauge responsiveness with little risk.
If the Market is There, Go for It
See an opportunity for your business? Then it’s time to make your business happen. Of course, a business doesn’t just create itself. Learn the ways of crafting a business with the Business is ART book.
Not a Paid Endorsement, but…
Pat Flynn’s book Will It Fly? lays out a process for determining if there is potential for your business or product before you invest heavily in it. This is not a book about planning the business, like Business is ART. This is a book about determining if it’s worth establishing in the first place. I am not a paid spokesperson and am not paid to endorse Will It Fly?. I simply am mentioning it as a potential resource for you to check.