Market Analysis: Understanding your Customers

In order for any business to succeed, an understanding of customers' wants and needs is vital. It is of the utmost importance to gain an understanding of your market long before you take a serious financial plunge. A properly structured market analysis will provide you with all the information needed to make smart choices further down the line. Without this solid foundation, any business may struggle to stay afloat, let alone play in the "big leagues". Consumer research is generally the best starting point for market analysis. In order to provide customers with a product or service that they truly need, you need to understand their behaviour a little better. Find out what makes your potential customers tick, and then find out how your product will be able to fulfill these needs. Open up the channels of communication, do a survey or two, and spend some time figuring out how you can gain the edge on your competitors. Do some trend-spotting, and zone in on any gaps in the market that your company may be able to fill.

Decide on your target market and then build the rest of your business plan around this focus. Play to your strengths.