A reason people start businesses is to fill a market need—often one they see themselves. When Bryan started Nu-Kitchen, it was because he saw a need for fresh, natural, diet food, delivered to the home. He asked friends and found that he wasn’t the only one who desired such a service. Bryan went ahead and launched without doing a lot of formal research, and still had significant success. But that path is not for everyone.
It is a good choice to research your market before diving in. There are many resources to help. We’ve documented many of them within the Wicked Start product, but you can also look to your local Small Business Adminstration (SBA) or your local library. In many cities and at many universities, specialized business librarians can point you to sources of data, help you interpret it, and help you make connections in your community. Some libraries even have business plan competitions and provide business help.
SCORE Lancaster (the Service Corps of Retired Executives –a resource partner of the SBA) wrote about how to Define a Market Need for Your New Business and suggests some very valid questions. They include asking if “the business is a new solution to an old problem” or if it catches an emerging wave. They also suggest a focus on the benefits of your business, and not the features or the cost or time savings. Their piece is worth a full read.
Get a level of comfort that matches your risk profile, but don’t over-research your idea. You probably didn’t know you needed a pocket sized music player until Apple showed you one that was easy to use, right? And as Henry Ford is famously credited as saying, “”If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Written by Howard GreensteinTags: Bryan Janezcko, Howard Greenstein, Market Need, NuKitchen