for the pause. I don't need to tell you that January was a strange
and uneven month. It wasn't BAD, just strange. We all seem to
have settled down, our heads
cocked, waiting for the equivalent of a "sound" that will tell
us the country is on the mend.
stock market aside (and I mean FAR aside as an indicator), the
six big banks unwilling to clear out their mortgage mess and take
the book looses (assuming
can even find the original bogus paperwork that created those
loans), and Corporate American sitting on one TRILLION in cash
unwilling to spend it (or is that spend it HERE), I am not surprised
that a deep sense of insecurity pervades our waking hours.
my friends, have you been thinking about what you can do to make
some money? Have you spent any time on that second track?
time I want to spend some time with you on MARKET RESEARCH
. No matter
you want to do, there is probably some, or a lot of other people
doing it too:
- if it is a local
service, or A LOT if it is a product(s) you
are considering for your website. Market research is trench warfare,
and if you are NOT willing to do it
you are not willing to build a successful business. You have NO
CHOICE on this one folks, it is DO IT
or get out of the way. Even if you are buying a franchise, or
have the opportunity to go partners in a business, assuming you
have looked at ALL
financials carefully, WITH YOUR
accountant and lawyer, you also need to do the
research for that product or business, because a good year is
the upcoming year will be good, and a high percentage of that
success will depend on local competition.
is Market Research ? In simple terms, it is what
the competition is up to.
are they selling, how are they pricing it, do they have terms
do they charge to ship if shipping is involved, where are they
you are providing a service that is more generalized, rather than
had better know exactly HOW MANY people in your town are providing
they are charging for it, and how quickly they can get to it.
If you were in
building trades, but always wanted to be a fine-cabinet maker
in your own
at home, then you had better know who ALL the cabinet makers are
your area. If you want to get an idea of how they charge, e-mail
a proposed kitchen - number of cabinets, style, materials, finish
- and ask for
BALLPARK bid. Most professional cabinet makers have computer software
and can punch in your numbers and get a quote quickly. The good
ones will do it to you if you start to look successful, so suck
it up and play your A game!!
people will go to the Yellow Pages to look up service companies,
they will go
the Internet, or to Angie's List or Kudzu (the HGTV spin-off)
for referrals. That
where you start.
you are a dog-walker, cabinet or birdhouse-maker, vintage auto
you have just invented the BEST barbecue sauce EVER, you need
to know who and what is out there, what they charge for it, etc.
Even if you have decided to
a grower of organic vegetables, organic herbs, local honey, or
a maker of door-wreaths, or baby quilts, you NEED to know who
else is out there,
what they are charging.
you want to become an organic grower then you need to know what
the grocery is charging in their "organic section", then plan
on trips to the local farmer's markets.
to specialty stores that carry your product, and go online to
look for organic grower's associations, who will have TONS of
information. In other words, don't even THINK ABOUT throwing
money at this until you are sure you can see a market for it.
Even if you are a good decorator, it doesn't make you an Interior
is generally a person who has a degree in the field). Don't fantasize
"POTENTIAL" business, DON'T loot your 401K to
open a little storefront and hope folks come through the door
- they won't. 99% of these stores close after the first
when all the "borrowed" money is used up and few customers have
get sucked into a series of classes on something like "HOME-STAGING",
to find that the majority of Real Estate agents don't want to
pay you for this service, and neither do the homeowners. You could
have used that $250 to pay
utility bill. Short of the fancy stuff seen on TV - the real world
that way. If you WANT to be a stager, find the posh Real Estate
Agency in town, and become an apprentice to their professional
stager (who will also have a degree) until you have street creds.
You will also be a volunteer, as learning is not
a paid profession.
POINT here is that you need to do the research.
It is also highly possible that you will find other products in
your category, but the quality will suck, or the customer service
will suck, or the follow-through will suck. It is HIGHLY
build a business in a crowded market with high quality, killer
splendiferous follow-through. So don't be daunted by the QUANTITY
just make sure you fully understand the QUALITY
of the companies offering the products.
many of you know I sell fatwood. I can promise you I know ALL
the prices from the competition, ALL their terms of sale, all
their shipping costs, and how long it takes for them to deliver.
I know that the all-American Plow & Hearth just sold
a Chinese company, and I WILL make note of that on my webpage.
I have ordered everyone's products to look at them. I know who
service. My product is more expensive than the biggest seller,
internal culling of our product before we ship gives us higher
the higher price. Our shipping costs are transparent, and supplied
buyer. In other words we don't play games with our customers.
is the result of
MARKET RESEARCH . Do it or die slowly, and
IT throughout the
life of your company. Companies are living
organisms, so feed them good information.
you done any market research on YOUR idea or passion yet?
STARTED!!! Time's a wastin'
and be formal. Write it down, create a spreadsheet,
lists, create both a competitors list and a
list. Any retailer who already sells your
is a potential customer.
me at TheOldBroadSpeaks@gmail.com
will be adding more material relatively soon.
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