You’re probably reading this article because you have that niggle, a feeling that won’t go away that you really want to start your own business. And although you’re certain about that, you either A. can’t think of a good idea, B. have too many ideas and don’t know how to pick one or C. have an idea but aren’t sure if it’s good enough to make the leap for. This article will include how to brainstorm business ideas, perform marketplace analysis and ultimately decide on a relevant business idea that coincides with your findings.
Often the issue isn’t so much coming up with a business idea but it's deciding on the type of business that you want to set up. There are thousands of business ideas out there and your idea doesn’t have to be unique but you do have to make at least one element of your marketing mix (the 7Ps) better than your competitors whether it be the price, product, place, promotion, the people, the process or the physical environment.
It’s important that you have really considered your priorities. Make sure you have thought about all of the following before you settle on your idea:
Whether the idea for your business was totally spontaneous or you have been deliberating over it for years, conducting marketplace analysis will increase your chances of success. It will form part of your business plan and will also be a really good way to get you thinking about how you will market your business and recognising in advance some of the hurdles you might encounter.
Split your marketplace analysis into three parts:
Macro influences can be broken down and assessed using PESTLE analysis where you should consider the effect that the following factors could have on your business. Macro influences could be local, national or global. Nobody can predict the future but it’s still helpful to do your research.
Competitor analysis is crucial so that you can find out what you’re up against and what you’ll need to do to compete in terms of activity, resource and budget. You’ll get some great ideas for your own marketing - whether that be inspiration from competitor activity or working out how you can do things differently and better. Competitors also demonstrate that there’s a market for your product or service. Follow these six steps to conduct your competitor analysis.
|1. Find your top ten competitors|
|2. Perform price analysis for each competitor|
|3. Identify the marketing channels they are using|
|4. Analyse their content|
|5. Evaluate their customer service|
|6. Identify areas for improvement|
Many businesses are scared to define their target market, seeing it as reducing the number of people that are prospects. But the truth is it’s ridiculous (not to mention impossible) to try and market to everybody. The more you can narrow down who you’re targeting, the easier it becomes. If your target market is female, you’re not saying that a male can’t or won’t ever buy your product, but you know to focus your marketing efforts towards women.
If you didn’t have a good idea who you thought your target market was already, your competitor analysis should have really helped. Follow these three steps to complete your target market analysis.
The process of conducting marketplace analysis and writing a business plan demonstrates your commitment to the idea. If the results are positive and you’re confident that there is a market for your product or service and that you are capable of competing then look to take the next steps on the startup journey.
There is never a guarantee that any business will work, even if your research points in all the right directions. Share your analysis and plans with someone you trust and respect in a business capacity and talk it over out loud, don’t just keep ideas in your head - this can make all the difference to how you see something. Minimise risk by staying in your existing job as long as you can, generating some savings, starting your business part-time and by testing a minimum viable product.
Starting a business always comes with a degree of risk. But some ventures are less 'risky' than others.Read more
Once you've settled on your idea, the hard part can be knowing where to start. Luckily, we've created a focused action plan to get your business up and running in just 20 days.Read more
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