Friday, July 16, 2010

Are you an Expert in Your Market?—Three Ways to Know Your Market Better

One of the key criteria in funding startups is the entrepreneur’s knowledge of the target market and customer. Size of market, growth rates, and segmentation are key components the entrepreneur should know well. In this post we’ll look at three ways to know your market better.

The first place to look is on the web. The Virtualpet website offers a one-stop shop to find out more details about your market segment. You’ll need to first identify which industry(s) you’re in. From that you can find out several facts about your target market size.

The next step is to find out what trade associations and conferences are related to it. You can contact the trade association and find out more about the market. Usually, the director of the association has the key market information you’re seeking and will make that available to you in an email or phone call. Their job is to foster the growth of their industry segment by informing others about it.

The third step is to attend a trade conference. You’ll learn more from those on the exhibit hall floor than you can from articles or other means. It’s worth a day walking the show to get the details.

Finally, avoid market research reports. These reports cost anywhere from $2000 to $25000. Most of these are simply a compilation from a direct mail campaign that is far from comprehensive. While they can be helpful they certainly aren’t worth the money.

Best regards,
Hall T.