Mining Market Data
With a heightened awareness of opportunity, ideas can often be generated by market research. The National Women's Business Center (NWBC) defines market research as "a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about your target market, competition, and/or environment with the goal being increased understanding. Through the market research process, you can take data-a variety of related or non-related facts-and create useful information to guide your business decisions.
For example, in recent years data has indicated the shift of the U.S. to a service economy and away from manufacturing. Service industry growth is good news for prospective entrepreneurs. Service businesses are relatively easy to start, and economies of scale are not generally sufficient to give larger companies a significant competitive edge.
For an indication of the products and services that people will need in the near future, we can look at projections of those industries which are expected to produce the most new jobs in upcoming years. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that eating and drinking places will create the most new jobs in the early 21st century, followed by health care, construction, and personnel and supply services.
More specific ideas are often suggested in the business and entrepreneurship literature. Food and recreation opportunities could include family entertainment centers, tea salons, and brewpubs. Services you might offer could include children's learning centers, unique travel experiences and specialized staffing agencies.
Other useful sources of ideas include the business section of the local newspaper and the local business weekly. Broad trends can be tracked merely by being a reasonably well-informed observer of the popular culture.
Are opportunity listings useful? Some believe that it is already too late to enter a business by the time it is publicly acknowledged to be an opportunity. Many suggest that it is better to wait for the "first movers" to clarify exactly what services consumers want, and then to enter with a more focused product.
We also have the choice of moving into "hot" new businesses, or developing better approaches to well-established industries. While leading edge ventures are generally more exciting, more fortunes have probably been made with well run versions of fairly common businesses.
Scan the current literature for opportunities that fit your strengths and interests. Describe a specific business that would take advantage of one of these opportunities. Identify how your strengths and expertise would contribute to the success of such a business. Visualize yourself as the owner/manager, and project how you would get the venture off the ground.
For example, a coffee shop fits within the fastest growing industry, eating and drinking places, though in competition with national franchises. Is it in competition only with other coffeehouses, or with other casual dining or snack-food places?
Many services are highly localized. Is national data useful to consideration of a neighborhood coffee shop? Can we acquire meaningful data on just our market area, the northeast corner of a metropolitan area, serving 18% of its population? This would almost certainly require gathering primary data, that is data that we gather or commission specifically for this purpose, rather than secondary or published data.
The NWBC stresses that information gained through marketing research isn't just "nice to know." It is solid information that can guide your most important strategic business decisions.
John B. Vinturella, Ph.D. has almost 40 years experience as a management and strategic consultant, entrepreneur, author, and college professor. For 20 of those years, Dr. Vinturella was owner/president of a distribution company that he founded. He is a principal in business opportunity sites jbv.com and muddledconcept.com, and maintains business and political blogs.
Shortening Product Life Cycle!
The current state of the available technology at the disposal of designer is the most limiting determinant to what is technically and economically feasible to develop, therefore research into metatechnology such as computer science, whereby interdisciplinary spin off provides advances that both directly increase capabilities, and affects other technologies to dramatically improve system performance, is a necessity, the implication being that despite many of the basic principles being relatively static, the technology used is essentially in a state of constant development.Such developments result in smaller, more efficient, cheaper and more reliable components.
Business Plan: The Simplest Business Plan Ever
If you're a solo professional like I am, you know how tough it is to find any time at all to do any business planning. Doing a full business plan is a must if you're planning to seek financing or investors, but most solo professionals don't need anything that complicated.
Top Ten Reasons To Create A One Page Business Plan
There is a story, about a business owner who wasn't doing very well. She had no business plan, but had heard, quite a bit, how creating one would help.
Is Plan B Ready?
Business owners and entrepreneurs are, by nature, risk takers and adventurers. If we didn't have that "optimism gene" floating around, not much of any progress would ever get done.
Don't Just Talk About the Weather, Use It to Advantage
A well known, national chain of restaurants discovered that certain weather patterns substantially impacts their business. They have studied it and found that more people go out to eat dinner when there is a series of beautiful days.
Online Promotion: 10 Ways To Use Focus Groups To Ignite Your Profits
A focus group is a group of employees or current customers that discuss and brainstorm new ways to improve different parts of your business.Below are online promotion secrets to use focus groups for marketing intelligence.
What is Your MSP?
For many consumers and producers, MSP is an acronym for Manufacturer's Suggested Price. Today, I would like you to consider a different definition for these commonly used letters -Marketing, Sales and Profitability.
Top Reasons To Form A Strategic Business Alliance
A strategic alliance is when two or more businesses join together for a set period of time. The businesses, usually, are not in direct competition, but have similar products or services that are directed toward the same target audience.
Parking Business, the Details on Increasing Lot Revenue
If you are in the parking business and own or manage parking lots you may want to think on some additional concepts to increase lot revenues. Whether you are looking to add value for your customers, expand your customer base, or simply increase your revenue, the addition of a car wash and/or detailing service to your parking facility may be the answer.
Invalid Excuses for Poor Business Results - The Economy
Note to Rite Aid and CVS: It's not about the economyWhen Bill Clinton successfully unset the first President Bush, he focused on a sign in his Little Rock office: "It's the Economy, Stupid". His point was to focus his campaign on economical issues.
Hunters and Gatherers - Are You Serving Both Their Needs?
The University of Exeter in the United Kingdom recently published research financed by Barclays Bank, which has implications for everyone who is serving the general population.This research shows that consumers shop establishments based on one of the two personal profiles.
Business Plan Descriptions of Computer System
Entrepreneurs often give little if any consideration to their computer system needs in their original business plans. It is a necessity to have mention of your computer system as bankers and/or investors will want to know how you will keep track of your future endeavor.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture - implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management - loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers.
Site Selection and Demographic Tips for Establishing Outlets
Many cities have home pages on the Internet. Many of these cities use these sites to promote their town.
Business Plans Keep You On The Success Course
Where would your business be without a proper plan? A business plan sets the direction for the future of the business. It gives the business owner or manager a sense of guidance, listing the goals and objectives of the business from the start.
Idaho Market for Automotive Businesses; Doing it Right
Anyone who has been watching the Idaho Market Carefully for auto services, knows that the market is ripe, ready and growing. I visited Southern Idaho after establishing franchises in Northern Idaho three years ago for our auto aftermarket franchise company.
During the election we heard about Ohio's Economy
Much of what we heard in the mass media about Ohio and the down and out economy was the fiction of spin-doctors of politics who wanted to oust the current sitting President. On further review and first hand observation and experience Cincinnati has people moving in and economic expansion.
Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan
The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.
Call in the SWOT Team: Produce More Opportunities to Expand Your Business
Have you ever done a SWOT analysis? No, it's not some dangerous military maneuver. It's actually a fun and incredibly helpful business development exercise that will give your company focused direction and great marketing ideas -- whether your business is brand new or has been around for years.
If you've ever listened to Warren Buffett talk about investing, you've heard him mention the idea of a company's moat. The moat is a simple way of describing a company's competitive advantage.
|home | site map|