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A practical guide for starting a small business

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Separating Successful Small Business Ideas from Bad

Once you come up with a business idea, you'll need to do the analysis to make sure that is viable.


Who are your Customers (Target Market) for your Successful Small Business Ideas?

The first step in assessing Successful Small Business Ideas is to clearly define who will be your customers (target market).

Most of the time this is done through a set of characteristics called demographics.  Here is a sample list that you should consider.

Here is how this is applied to successful small business ideas.  You decided that you like to come up with fashionable uniforms for nurses.  You are going to sell it in your uniform store in your neighborhood.  



You'll need to do some secondary research.  Here are some good sources:

You can use the secondary data and figure out how intense is the competition in your area.  Calculate how many people are in your target on a national basis and within your business territory.  Find out how many businesses are like yours both nationally and within your business area. Calculate the indexes and compare your area with the national landscape.

How Large is your Potential Customer Base (Target Market) for your Successful Small Business Ideas

Even if you have a lot of competition, it does not mean that you should not enter the market with your small business idea.  They key is differentiation or how are you going to make yourself different than everyone else.  Pay your competition a visit.  Check out what they are offering.  How are they offering it?  What areas can you be better?



National - U.S.

Your Business Territory

# of Shops - Competitors



# in Potential Customers - Target






Comparing Relative Competition

In this example, the shops per target calculation indicates that the competition is 5 times more intense within your business territory than on a national basis (0.05 versus 0.01)


Once you've done your secondary research, and you believe that your Successful Small Business Ideas are still viable, you need to go to the next phase (Primary Research) and get some potential customer feedback on your next best widget.   Doing primary research is a science.  You cannot ask your friends and expect that to be representative of the real answer.  Invest in a local research project.  

Some local colleges will have their business students do projects either for free or at a very low rate.  You need to frame the question based on your business idea on how likely someone in your target group will buy your product over the competitor's given a price that you had in mind.


Assess Your Competition to your Successful Small Business Ideas

Analyze the Demand for your Successful Small Business Ideas

Successful Small Business Ideas

Real Experiences!

Faris S., Import from China to India

“I was looking for new things to import from China to India.  Thanks for the new fresh ideas and methods on evaluating them.“