3. What possible options exist in this market?
4. Is there a market for my specific idea?
5. Is there money in the market?
6. Who else is providing the same or a similar product or service?
7. What does my typical customer look like?
8. What capabilities and resources do I need to succeed with this idea? Then how am I going to get them?
Sun Tzu stated,
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb (or lose) in every battle.”
Many business people consider research as a tedious task that they would rather avoid. Many of those who do attempt some level of research will not put in the necessary effort. Very few entrepreneurs will do the adequate research. In this next section, you’re going to learn how to do practical research that will have a direct impact on your success as an entrepreneur. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be tedious.
Oftentimes, going into business is similar to going into battle. You may have the intention to get along with everyone but you will have competitors who will try to put you out of business. Thus the more you can learn about the niche or industry you want to go into (the battlefield) and those who are already competing in that niche (the various enemy forces), the greater the likelihood that you will be able to design a strategy to hold your ground and make a profit.
If you don’t do this, you still might get lucky and survive. But why take the chance when you can learn a valuable skill that will give you a higher probability of success. Why would you bet your destiny on misguided hope when you can take some time and see a clearer path?
The research that you’re going to learn to do in the next few hours will save you much pain and heartache. It’s also going increase your probability of making more money.
Think of this lesson like a pile of building blocks. Maybe you’re playing alongside a youngster and they are piling their blocks up into the air. You know that if that bottom block isn’t rock solid, you’ll have a shaky structure. In your case, I want to help you make this block solid, wide, strong and unshakeable, almost like it’s glued to the floor. From there, you can build a tower and we can make it tall.
Okay, that’s enough introduction! Let’s look at eight questions we need to answer to succeed and we’re going to go through each one, step by step.
Section 5: Research
There’s a wonderful book called The Art of War by Sun Tzu. It’s about 2,400 years old, yet it is directly applicable to entrepreneurship and business growth today.
Right now I’m going to start with the absolute key lessons I learned from my MBA, basically taking an entire semester, and taking the most practical parts of that and then combining it with some ideas that my mentors taught me. I’ve also taught marketing research at the college level and there are a lot of things in the text book that even put me to sleep. My goal is to keep this short, simple and practical so that you can return to this lesson at any time in the future and easily use it to help you as you think of launching a new entrepreneurial venture.
1. Where can I identify trends that I can capitalize on?
2. Which trend or area of the market aligns with my strengths?