How well do you know your market? It can make or break a start-up
September 15, 2014
“Take some time and research what might already be out there in terms of competition. Take a look at how they are marketing themselves, their price points and how they present their business. You can always innovate on what others are doing. Turn to Google, look in your local paper or just watch the advertising on television carefully. It’s really important you walk before you run!”
We all make mistakes because the very nature of human beings is we tend to run head long into things. The same is true for many people who take the step of a start-up. Well before you sit down and invest time in developing your business plan it’s really important that you know the market. Knowing the market comes in a few forms:
What same or similar products / services are already out there?
What demographic (if any) of the market are your future potential competitors trying to sell into?
What price ranges are they selling at?
Is there something unique with how they are selling themselves?
What kinds of marketing are they using?
What kind of client base are they already attracting?
What you are essentially doing is conducting a competitor analysis because, at the end of the day, you probably want to convince someone else’s customers to buy from you. In asking those six simple questions you also begin to get a feel for the market how they are being engaged and what the price points are so when it comes time to sit down and write your own business plan, you’ll be able to back your forecasts up with as much fact as possible.
Market and competitor analysis is not hard.
If your product is a consumable good then take a trip down to the local supermarket and look for the aisle where your product is likely to be shelved. Pick up a competing product look at the branding, the imagery, the ingredients and the price. Have a look at where on the shelf it is positioned and then assess it against the others.
If you want to open a café, or a food business, get out into the existing stores and do the price and taste test while also looking at who is coming and going. Look for branding and how the shopfront is set up. If your idea is based around a piece of technology then conduct your analysis online and if it’s a consulting business ring them as if you were a prospective client.
In other words there is no excuse for not knowing what is happening in the market you propose to sell your wares.
Like the image shows - dont put a brown paper bag on your head and hope to win a customer! know who your customer is!
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