Many people have great ideas, but their businesses flounder in the marketplace because there really isn't an audience for the product or service. Thorough research will help support expectations about a business's success as well as uncover any potholes in your thinking. Ask yourself these questions: What problem does my product or service solve? Whose problem does it solve? Does my idea flow with the direction society is moving in? For example, our society is becoming more mobile, reliant on technology, culturally diverse, and pressed for time. How does your idea fit in? Dig up trends, statistics, surveys and other data from sources like Business Information Centers, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Economic Statistics Administration, Government Research Centersand industry associations. Once you're able to substantiate the viability of your idea, then you can confidently move ahead.
- Visit your local library or Small Business Development Centerto check out the Encyclopedia of Associations from Gale Research.
- Spend a little and get a lot with tips from Research For Less.
- Download these free forms from Entrepreneur.com's FormNet: Survey Questionnaire, Demographic Comparisonand Industry Analysis Worksheet.