The Small Business Administration defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees, and over 28 million small businesses in the United States with over 22 million being self-employed with no additional payroll or employees. So basically anyone with a desire can start a new business.
It’s often said that ‘you must start as you mean to continue,’ and for the small business startup, having the right foundations in place will lead to success. In order to be successful you must have a clear understanding of your market and identify the specific needs or problem that your business solves. This has to come even before you decide on a target market. If not, it’s a lot like putting the cart before the horse.
It takes time and research to clearly identify the need that your business is going to fulfill, or the problem it is going to solve. By researching completely you will have an excellent understanding of your market. This allows you to launch your business or a new product that is needed by your potential customers.
Another helpful tool that can be utilized in this instance is the business plan. This can help you outline your goals for your business both financially and long term. A business plan can help you define who your target customer is and allows you to understand the products or services required.
It can be helpful to discuss the needs of your business with fellow business owners. While you may have a wonderful idea for a new business, if there is no need for it, it will never get off the ground. And this will be revealed through proper research.
Meeting with current business owners could help you identify a new need that has not been touched, or it may be that a number of businesses are satisfying the overall needs in that niche, but there’s just one area that is under-served or overlooked, and is important to the whole. This would be really exciting and would increase your chances, significantly, of your business becoming a success.
Identifying a need for your business can be compared to trying to come up with a brand new product. It takes a lot of brainstorming and research, but once you have a plan of attack in place, you are more than ready to take action.
Here’s an action plan that you can put into place to help you identify the need of your business.
- Research your ideas in depth.
- Meet with other business owners to see if there is a gap that needs to be filled.
- Create a profile of your ideal customer or client.
- Create a list of products and/or services that they might require.
- Run polls and surveys to gauge interest levels.
The best piece of advice we can give you is to not rush into any new business until you have identified if there is a need for it. This will guarantee that you are not wasting your time, money and your efforts.