Starting a business is always a gamble. Even if you do everything right in terms of planning and acquiring the proper licenses, how do you know if your company will do well? The first thing that you need to consider is whether your business idea is a good one. What service are you offering? What product will you be providing? Is there a demand for whatever it is you have to sell? The same goes for already established companies as well. If you are looking to implement a new service or a offer a new product, you will want to know whether your item or service will sell before making any of the big moves. The last thing you want is to spend a great deal of time, money and resources on something that will not even yield a return. So, how exactly do you know whether your idea will sell or not?
First, you will need to do some preliminary research. Look for similar services or products made in the same vein as yours. What does your competition look like? Is there competition? The answer to this last question can go both ways: on the one hand if there do happen to be competitors out there then you already know that there is some demand for your product and it is only a matter of whether yours will stand up to what else it out there, or if there is no competition for your product you may be able to dominate or flop. Is your product new and revolutionary enough for people to suddenly find a need and a desire for it? Or will people overlook it and wonder why it exists at all if there was no need? Once you have a good idea of the market you’re looking to get into, these answers can begin to line up and guide your professional business savvy.
Some questions may provide you with answers that comprise of a resounding “no” while others may leave you guessing or with an otherwise positive outlook. If all signs point to failure, then forego the venture all-together. But if there is some glimmer of hope, then you have a bit to work with.
The first thing you will want to do is sample. How does anyone find a new product or service on their own? Many people rely on the testimonials of family or friends, but if your product is brand new then those testimonials will not yet exist. How else do you try something? By sampling it of course!
Prepare some test products: make a small batch of your item that you can bring to your potential customers. Using the information you gathered about your competition you will have a better idea of where your target audience might be found – so go there! Prepare a sampling of your product and also make sure to offer brochures and other marketing materials for samplers to take along with them since you will want them to remember you and your item. Set up a pop-up shop, hope onto a stall at your local farmer’s market or feature a little bit of your item in your own store – but don’t spend too much time or energy on it just yet. Ask samplers what they think, whether they like it or what may need to be improved. This feedback can be crucial and it can save your item – or, if by some luck your item is immaculate, this test run may just provide you with the go ahead that you’ve been looking for.
Judging by these reactions, you can determine what the demand is like for your product, who is interested in buying it and what else may need to be improved. All of this information can help you determine whether or not your product will sell but it can also help you further hone your item in order to meet the more specific needs and desires of your intended market. So not only will you discover whether you have a great, sell-able idea but you will also find out how to maximize those sales and be as successful as possible.