Things to consider in determining if your business idea will work

Dear M & M: How do I know if my business idea will work? What can I do to determine if there is potential demand for what I am trying to do? – Jack

Dear Jack: The process of evaluating the feasibility of your business idea is called market analysis. Careful considerations and research must be done to realize who your target market(s) and competition are. One must know who are your potential customers? Where are they located? How large is your target market geographically as well as how many potential customers are in the area you are servicing? What are the needs of your potential customers? What is the criteria used in making buying decisions?  One needs to be specific in determining your target market. Is it industry driven (Accountants, Plumbers, and Dentists)? Is it based on age, gender or income levels? The more you can understand your customer needs and when they are ready, willing and able to make a purchase the more apt you will be at servicing them. Be realistic in estimating the number of clients you have the potential to serve. Factor in substitute products and services. Do your best at sizing up your competition and the share of the market you can realistically capture. Are there any gaps in your market that will enable you to out serve your competitors? Well you be more convenient, friendlier or offer additional services than your competition? Is there any unmet needs or expectations you can fill? If potential customers are not interested in your products or services, you do not have a viable business. Cochise College Center for Economic Research (CER) publishes some excellent information to help you do research on local markets specific to Cochise county. Information can be obtained online at the following web site: http://www.cochiseeconomy.com/

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