You have looked at your surrounding environment. You have considered the trends in the market place. You have an idea of what products or services people are looking for. You have familiarized yourself with current and future advances in technology. At this point, you should already have a list of possible opportunities and business proposals that you can take on as an entrepreneur.
After screening several opportunities according to well-defined criteria, the next step for the entrepreneur is to seize the chosen business opportunity. At one end, there are critical factors that enable the entrepreneur to exploit the opportunity to the heights of success. On the other end, there are critical factors that would drag down the opportunity to failure. Therefore, the entrepreneur must determine exactly what critical factors cause business opportunities to succeed and what critical factors cause it to fail.
“Entrepreneur, know thy market well!” This warning should be fully embraced by the entrepreneur who wants to fully maximize his or her market. The concept of a market (the people you want to sell your product or service to) can be confusing unless you delve into what the word means in terms of potential sales, achievable sales, and realizable profits.
The more you know about your market, the better you’ll be able to segment and reach your customers, position your products, promote your brand, set the best price, and choose the right location.
For entrepreneurs, getting to know the customer very well cannot be overemphasized. Customer knowledge starts with good customer profiling.
Location. Location. Location. This is the often-recited mantra of sales people who want to have the best access to their customers. But finding a good location is one thing. Maximizing the potentials of such a location is another.
Successful new products spring from the convergence of (1) the creative mind; (2) the technical mind; and, (3) the business mind. All three minds come together in the entrepreneurial mind.
There are four Marketing Toolkits which the entrepreneur can use in conducting Marketing Research. These are:
Toolkit No. 1 – Sales Data Mining
Toolkit No. 2 – Focus Group Discussion
Toolkit No. 3 – Observation Technique
Toolkit No. 4 – Survey Research