For those who believe that a market exists, but who want to know more about the size and shape of the market in order to forecast their chances for success, research is the best place to start. Researching your market to know more about your customers and your competitors is a critical step for small business owners. If Procter " Gamble puts out a product that doesn't sell, they move on to the next idea. If you put out a product that doesn't sell, you're out of business.
One of the first steps in examining your business idea is to do some research to get to know more about your market. Presumably you already know that a market exists for your product. If you have an idea for a business but you're not sure whether a market for it exists or is big enough to support your business, you are getting ahead of yourself. If that description applies to you, you'll need to take a step back and look at finding the right small business for you.
When you conduct research, you'll want to find out the following:
For a more complete analysis of how to assess your market, see our discussion of the following: