Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do This One Thing First To Give Your Business the Edge It Needs to Survive

Every now and then you stumble on a way to do something that will make your life a little easier.  For many entrepreneur wannabes the process of finding a viable niche in a product or service that they would like to start a business in can be tough. 

One of the reasons why most new entrepreneurs fail is because they haven’t done the market research required to build a viable business on the front end.

 I once knew someone that went into a business selling wired closet shelving.  This was back in the days before wired shelving was in Walmart and Lowes, so it was rather a new item at the time.

So, this guy who was making good money installing wired shelving into closets, had a business partner and they were selling them out of a van, and the shelving was stored in a warehouse.  The business actually did quite well, selling and installing the shelving into private residences and working with contractors putting the shelves into new residences.

Life was good, they were doing well, and then things got crazy.

One of the partners decided to get out of the partnership and strike out on his own.  His idea was to take the shelving business to a new level.  He opened up a retail store in a mall and had an entire store dedicated to wire shelving.  Of course, the mall had a lot of rules and restrictions on the way the business was to be set up. For example, the business had to have an expensive electric sign erected on the store.

And I don’t even want to tell you how expensive the monthly rental in a mall is.  Ridiculous.  Actually, too ridiculous for a mere shelving business.

So, without doing any market research, this individual thought he would set up a store in a mall, right down the hall from Sears.  Not a good idea on any level. 

Not only that, but the budding entrepreneur didn’t do any marketing for his business either.  That’s right, no advertisements, no coupons, not even a method of greeting a customer when they walked into the door.  So, needless to say, this business did terribly and the business owner not only lost his shirt, but his home eventually as well.
However, to the addicted entrepreneur, this would have been a mere learning experience.  If I were that individual, I would have picked myself up, dusted off and started another business.

I’m an avid watcher of the show “Shark Tank” and I can almost guess every time who is going to get a partnership with one of the bazillionaires on there and who isn’t.  It is almost always someone that has NOT done any market research or has any track record of success with their product or service.
It doesn't matter if you are in the information marketing business or a service, if you don’t do good, measurable market research on the front end, you will have a very tough time marketing your business, plain and simple.

It is exactly the same thing writing advertising copy.  Whether you are writing your own advertising copy or someone else’s, you have to do an intense amount of market research on the front end.  You need to know everything possible about your target market as you possibly can.

As one famous marketing guru put it, “You need to know how these individuals do everything.  If you can find out how they put on their underwear even, then your job as a marketer is going to be that much easier."

So, if you intend on marketing your business in anyway, do your research up front to determine what your target audience wants, or you will probably be closing up shop before your business even gets a chance to get started.

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