In the rush to bring new products to market or to start a new business, many entrepreneurs forget that they first need to determine one factor that is very vital to their success; their target market. The fact is, the better a new business owner, or for that matter a successful and established business owner, understands who their target market and customers are, the more successful they will be.
Conversely, many new businesses and new products fail not because they aren’t valuable but because they don’t define their target market beforehand or set their sights on a target market that is too broad to be able to support said new product or service. It’s for this reason that we put together a blog with some of the top questions that you need to ask yourself, as a business owner, to determine your target market before either starting a new business or bringing a new product or service to market. Enjoy.
One of the most important questions that you need to ask is simply this; who would pay for this product or service? At its core this question simply needs to be seen from the end consumer’s viewpoint. What need does your new service or product fulfill and what problem does it solve? In many cases, your target market may not even know that they have a problem to begin with and if you don’t figure out how to show them that they do and that you have the solution, you may find that getting your new product or service off the ground is a bit difficult.
If you already have a company and have a track record with customers who have purchased your other products or services, one of the questions that you need to ask is “who has already purchased from my company?” In many cases it’s an excellent idea to contact current or past customers and let them know about your new product or service and then simply keep track of who and how many of them purchase it.
Do you have a solid network of business associates, friends and acquaintances that you can go to for feedback? This is a good question and, if you don’t have just as good an answer to go with it, you may end up spending a lot more time and revenues on finding focus groups and performing surveys than necessary. Taking advantage of any network affiliations that you have in order to get feedback on your coming launch is not only a great business idea but in many cases can get you some excellent, opinionated and honest feedback. (Just be prepared to take criticism gracefully.)
One soul searching question that you must ask before any new product or service launch this; are making too many assumptions based on your own personal experiences and knowledge about your soon to be released product? For example, if you own and run a health food store you may assume that, since you know your products quite well, the new one you’re going to be releasing will be a hit. That’s an assumption that can backfire on you and you’d be well advised to actually talk to your customers and get feedback from them directly rather than assuming that you know best.
An extremely important question will to ask is “how am I going to sell my new product or service?” If you have an online-only business this might be a relatively easy question to answer but if you are combining online sales with brick-and-mortar store sales you’re going to need a lot more feedback and knowledge of the market in order to answer this vital question.
Just as important as this is; how are you going to find your new customers? Market research will serve you well when answering this question but, until you have the answer, you may want to hold off on launching any new product or service. The reason, obviously, is that if you don’t know how you’re going to find customers you’re going to be at a rather large disadvantage when it comes to selling anything.
Here, in no particular order, are a few other important questions that you should definitely have answered before your launch.
- How and where did your competition get started selling the same or similar products and services?
- As far as your target market is concerned, is there sufficient room to expand and support your new product or service?
- Are you overestimating the need or want for your new product or service?
Every single one of these questions is vitally important to the success of whatever it is that you’re going to be bringing to the public, whether it’s a service that helps people fill out surveys or a product that will help folks walk and chew gum at the same time. If you can honestly and thoroughly answer all of them you’ll be well on your way to a successful launch of any new product or service. Best of luck and make sure to come back and join us soon for more great information just like this. See you then.