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Researching Your Market

The best way to find out what potential your business has to generate revenues is to carry out a thorough market research. The better your data, the better you will be able to make informed decision about your business.

Before research can begin, a target market has to be defined. The best way to define a target market is to determine what you do best. You can’t be a “jack of all trades”. That’s as bad as shooting arrows into the sky and hoping that one will hit a duck that just might be flying overhead, and you will have a meal. Trying to be something for everyone makes it difficult to define a target market; when everyone is a potential target, it becomes difficult to focus and to gain respect for what you do best.

Let’s start by defining the people/businesses that have a need for your service/product. There are a lot of things to consider:

  • What are their unique characteristics?
  • What are their expectations?
  • Where are they located?
  • Is distance an issue in the delivery of your product or service?

Once we define a target market we can also determine the number of potential buyers; however, determining the number of buyers there are for your service/product is only part of the equation. You will also need to understand how much these buyers are prepared to spend. This figure is also useless unless you understand the repeat-purchase rate, in other words, how often will your service /product be needed (weekly, monthly, etc.)? Establishing these numbers will help plan your business budget.

For example, if you target your marketing towards people that only need your service once a year, you have to continuously be looking for new clients; perhaps the same marketing efforts can be directed towards repeat users.

Business and market information is available from a variety of sources. A place could be your local library; your city, state and federal government have information on just about any subject.  The internet is a great tool: by using terms containing the name of the market sector you are in, and other relevant facts you will find out about both your target market and your competition.

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No one ever said it was easy to be a small business owner, but hard work leads to success.

Nick J Petra     www.strategicduck.com

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