Ever think you have a revolutionary idea for an incredible new product or a service everyone will want, only to find that someone else thought of it first? So many people have felt this defeat, and in some cases people have invested quite a bit of time and money before realizing it was a waste. If you plan to enter a market, shouldn’t you know something about it? This is not to say that you can’t launch a successful business when there are other businesses that offer the same product or service. But doing some thorough research of your market is key before committing to starting that business you’ve already created in your mind. Here are some steps for a basic market analysis:
You can often find out whether someone is already doing what you hope to do in the same area by searching Google. A little basic, online market research can provide you with information and time-saving answers. Consider searching for websites, web images and Facebook pages for the product, service and even name you are considering.
Contact your potential vendors and distributors
Reach out to those people of businesses that you would be working with once your business is up and running. These vendors and distributors have a wealth of information about the processes in supplying your business and/or distributing your products. They also may have valuable information about your potential customers and competitors.
Analyze your potential competitors
Try to determine how saturated the market is. If there are six businesses offering the same product or service in a small area, there may be no room in the market for another competitor. It all depends on the market demand of course. Do some thorough research to see how many competitors you have. Don’t only look at how much competition you have, analyze each potential competitor to understand how much market share each one has and why. How long have they been in business? What are they doing to market their business? What types of reviews and ratings do they have from customers? How can you differentiate your business from theirs?
Identify strengths and weaknesses of your business
Identify your business’s unique strengths that you can capitalize on. Identify any potential weaknesses to prepare for. It’s easy when you are establishing your business to tout all of the incredible ways you are going to be better than the other guys. But take an honest look at your business to find all possible risks and vulnerabilities. It’s not enough just to hope these don’t happen. Make plans for worst-case scenarios so that you can establish your business with confidence and preparation for whatever might be thrown your way.