If you have been following this series of blog posts , you will have already identified a need in the market that matches your passion and skill set.
You will have decided on the vision, mission and goals of your business idea.
You will also have a good idea about how it is that your product or service will improve the lives of your customers, and what those customers might look like.
Find your exact target market
You now need to determine how big this need (market) is, and whether you should continue as a ministry, or develop a business plan that will guide you in launching your business idea. You need to determine how big the total market is, and what portion of the market you wish to capture.
This becomes your market share; it can be a geographical area or the certain type of customer you want to attract. You want to know the specific portion of the market so that you are able to calculate the capacity of your business, which in turn will help you quantify sales and costs.
Do your research
This process is called market research, and you can follow a number of different research methods, two of which are:
· Complete a survey to determine your customers’ tastes and needs, as well as their impression of the value of your product or service. Remember to use language that your current and prospective clients understand.
You can survey the market personally by going door to door, or place yourself in a high-traffic location where there are lots of pedestrians, and ask people if they would be willing to answer a few questions.
A great option is an online survey (See example from our FB) on one of the social media platforms which would allow you to reach a broad group of people.
· If a similar product or service is already provided in the market, research what the existing suppliers do - or don’t do - to further develop your strategy (Compare the "basket").
It is always helpful to look at what other companies in your industry are doing.
It is important that the research is done in the area you aim to do business, to see just how big your business can become.
What’s the next step in Business Planning?
Once you have gathered the relevant information about the size of the market and the acceptable price range for your intended clients, you will be able to move on to the next step.
It is tricky figuring out how much the marketplace is willing to pay for your product or service, so check out The Springboard Academy’s next post where we will look at the basics of how to cost your product and structure the operations of your new business.