Opportunity – Find the Right Market Niche

The Market Potential and Viability of Your Business Concept

Market Opportunity

The ability of your business to succeed and thrive depends on upon your market potential or how many people—or businesses—have the problem you solve. The more prospective customer, in general, the more viable your business could be. More prospects often equate to more sales, especially if the prospects can be reached, are aware of the need, and are willing and able to buy a solution. While you need a large enough pool of potential customers for your business/idea to be viable, it doesn’t mean you have to go after the largest market segment. In fact, many businesses succeed by targeting a small segment and capturing more of the market (market share).

Not Too Big, Nor Too Small — Just Right to Build Success

Ideally the market opportunity you are looking for is large enough for you to have enough potential customers for your business to thrive, but not so many prospects that you can’t afford to reach them. You are looking for an opportunity that balances the market segment size with your ability (efficiency and cost effectiveness) to pursue them. I have worked with several client companies developing new technologies and as they were seeking investors for expansion, they would hear, “There isn’t enough market potential: The group with the problem is too small.”

Well, these clients proved that having a relatively small market (a few million) versus a larger Idea Business Conceptmarket (tens of millions) can work. Instead of spending to capture a fractional share of a large market, they were able to capture a majority share of the smaller market segment. The revenues and profits from their market share of the smaller segment has far surpassed estimates of their potential in pursuing a larger market segment.

Identify a Unserved or Under-served Market Opportunity

So in looking for your market opportunity, evaluate the marketplace and look for the people not being served, the underserved, or the ones who can’t afford current solutions as starting points. Dig into the details and understand the various ways the market can be divided. Find a starting point; even a small segment can give you a foundation to demonstrate your concept, start generating sales, and build your reputation (credibility) as a business and for your solution.

Do Your Market Research!

Take time to survey what the product and service offerings are currently for the problem you address. Talk to existing customers of would-be competitors and learn what they want from a product, why they purchased the solution, and understand your market. Then begin to narrow your focus. Find one segment to pursue and generate some sales. When you have demonstrated success, you can take on another market segment that is adjacent or similar to you first targets.

The more you know about your market, the segmentation, and the customers, the better your chance of success. Look for an opportunity where you “get” the customer. Start there and then build your business model and develop your value proposition … your CORE message.

Articles and Podcasts

  • Where is Your Business Located? Realist Road (9/14/2016) by Lea Strickland - Normally when I am writing about the location of your business, I am focused on the physical or virtual locations of the business. Today I want to focus on the mental or psychological location of your perspective on your business. In working with clients, the success of organizations is impacted by their leaders’ perspectives on events, opportunities, results, and the future. Leaders tend to locate their businesses one of three categories: Optismist Overlook, Pessimist Place, or Realist Road. Welcome to Optimist Overlook When you visit Optimist Overlook, the business may reside at the corner of WishfulThinking and Hope Is My ...
  • It IS About the Customer! Know and Serve Them. (8/23/2016) by Lea Strickland - Whether our organization is for-profit, not-for-profit, or a government agency, what we do is about the customer. Sometimes we forget that. We get so caught up in "the business" that we lose sight of "the customer." What’s worse is that sometimes we aren't really sure who they are. A recent conversation with a marketing colleague centered on how many business owners and operators aren't clear just who their customer is. As a consequence, they don’t know where they need to focus their attention and efforts to reach them, and end up playing a guessing game: Is it the consumer? Is ...
  • Business Concept – Validating Your Idea (5/8/2016) by Lea Strickland - Crazy Ideas and Business Concept Many highly successful businesses have been started on ideas other people thought were crazy.  Many unsuccessful businesses were started as "sure things."  How do you know before you start if your idea is worthwhile?  How do you determine if there are already "too many" other businesses out there doing what you want to do?  Maybe your concern is that all the players in the business you want are established and have a huge share of the market?   How do you decide? How much importance is there in how many competitors and other factors are at ...
  • “Who You Know” and Open Market Competition (7/31/2014) by Lea Strickland - The world is not objective. It is composed of people, and people are human (at least most of us are). People are at our most basic emotional and relationship-based. We do deploy our logical minds to override and control much of our instinctual behavior and that also makes us human, and adult or mature humans. It is expected of us to act in a way that is not pure emotion that utilizes more than "raw" emotion in deciding the actions we will take or not take in any given situation. Because of our emotions and our ability to connect and ...
  • Small Business, Competitive Markets (7/31/2014) by Lea Strickland - While big businesses (especially those traded on public stock exchanges) get the press, the real news—and arguably the differences in day-to-day life and the economy—rest in the small business, in this country and around the world. The majority of existing and new jobs are in small businesses. Innovation and new technologies most often come from small businesses. Why are small businesses uniquely capable of creating the responsiveness needed by their customer, the marketplace, and doing so with the least amount of resources? Because they are small and have limited resources to use.   Small size becomes the competitive advantage that ...
  • Market Research Is Vital for Small Businesses (5/3/2011) by Lea Strickland - Too many organizations market without a plan, wandering around trying to find customers. It's ineffective, inefficient and expensive. The more time it takes to find your customer and hone your product, service or technology, the longer you have your money tied up. Read more of this article on The Street. Copyright ©2011 Lea A. Strickland/F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc.
  • Marketing (Strategy) (3/30/2011) by Lea Strickland - Sharing expertise with multiple audiences. Regularly leading workshops and presenting at a wide range of industry events, Lea is a sought-after public speaker on how to effectively start and grow a business across a myriad of industries. Lea’s expertise lends itself well to appearances as a keynote speaker, workshop leader, or panelist on the topics of: entrepreneurship starting a managing a successful small business commercializing technology growing the business government grants and contracts success Examples of previous engagements Lea has been solicited to participate in include: * Featured panelist for the interactive discussion, “Compliance from Day One to Closeout – ...
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