Any business operates solely through the sale of goods or services. In the event that no one buys anything from you, it makes no sense to talk about building any business of your own.
At the same time, starting and organizing your business from scratch, you do not know for sure what volume of products you can sell and how many customers you can attract. To solve this problem, you need to find out the demand for services in the segment with which you plan to work.
Difficulties in determining demand
To begin with, we will decide on why it is not as easy to find out the demand for your product as we would like. The answer is obvious: sales and trade are purely practical things, since many real factors influence the dynamics of their development. It’s impossible to predict some of them, unless it can be determined in a practical way. So we have this picture: we have not yet begun to offer our paid services, but we want to know how many people are willing to purchase them. Without a direct start, it is very difficult, but real. Actually, we will try to talk about this in this article.
Ways to research demand
There are many tricks and tricks to “probe the market” - to find out the demand for goods and services where we want to sell ourselves. The easiest, but also the least accurate way is to analyze and generalize the details of the details of your future business. Such a technique will not allow you to reveal how many people will order a product or service from you, but you will know what they are, what they want and what they need. Simply put, you can analytically draw a portrait of a customer, and then simply logically determine whether there are many such people, whether you can find them, in what way they will become aware of your product and so on. We will describe in more detail how this is done below.
After the analytical method, you can try to take the first practical steps. It is also a whole range of measures that allow you to get more or less accurate data on what will be the demand for paid services. It is noteworthy that this is done without the actual organization of the business, that is, the risk of losing invested funds if such techniques are applied is minimal.
We do market analysis
To understand how the analytical approach works, take one situation as an example. Imagine that you want to rent a shawarma kiosk near the metro. To do this, you need to know whether you will have a demand for services, say, in the amount of 100 sales per day or not. To clarify this, we examine a potential buyer. Your customers will obviously be passersby who have just arrived or are leaving somewhere with the help of the subway. It is possible that most of these people will be hungry. You won’t calculate the number of people who will buy food from you, but with what your target audience looks like (those who are interested in services), you’ll roughly decide. Then we turn to other factors: competitors, the level of employment of people, their status. Are there any other shawarma stalls anywhere nearby? Do they buy food from them? Is this business sufficiently developed here? Is food demand normal in the area? Or is the metro station in question located in a remote, wilderness? Etc. We apply other factors to the characteristic that we obtained by examining the target audience: people's moods, their goals, location, visibility of the object of trade (if we are talking about this area) and other nuances. All of them will allow to characterize the market of services, demand - and supply, respectively, to create for it.
Communication with competitors
Another way to find out the demand can be called even more accurate and useful, since it has a direct connection with practice. It consists in getting a part of the experience of your future competitors who already know the demand for services in the niche where you want to work. Of course, it is hardly possible to do this directly, because your market rivals are not interested in preventing you from selling their services or goods by offering your own. But using trickery, you can also learn something.
For example, contact your competitors as a buyer. Of course, this is not possible in every business (for example, the demand for construction services cannot be recognized in this way). But you can try in those niches where the purchase, sale and consumption of services or goods occurs at one time. In our case, with a stall and shawarma, you can go up to your competitors, get something from them and kind of inadvertently start communication. You can talk about anything, reporting on your problems, transferring the merchant to a soulful conversation. So you get the person to yourself by displaying some useful information for the business. Such a method, although it is incorrect from the point of view of morality, can give a good result.
We check demand in practice
In addition to communicating with competitors, the demand for services can also be learned in a practical way without starting a business. Again, this approach does not work in all areas of business, but there are niches where this is not difficult to do.
For example, if you want to become a manufacturer of some product and plan to sell it using social networks, you can try to organize a fictitious sale of your products (using untruthful information). For example, you need to run a group, post other people's photos, write descriptions. You will see how many people will turn to you, and you will understand, though not quite objectively, what the demand will be.
In other areas, such as, for example, street trading, the flow of potential customers is even easier to determine. Stand in front of the point of the future competitor and count how many people have visited him. You can also try to determine the number of those who made the purchase.
Different approaches in other business areas
The many ways in which demand is determined indicate that it is impossible to identify any one approach for different areas of the business. Moreover, different approaches to sales can form a completely different level of demand. For example, the demand for educational services promoted through social networks will differ from the demand for advertising the same niche in another way, for example, by distributing leaflets.
When applying this or that assessment method, it should be borne in mind that it involves a specific source of sales, which is also able to provide one or another volume of customers. It is best to use several techniques in combination, so that the final result is as objective as possible.
What to do, knowing the demand?
When building a business, it is important to know what the demand for services will be in order to correctly calculate all sources of income and to orient their expenses on them. If you are sure that you will buy, for example, 100 sandwiches with tea, this will make it advisable to purchase a new teapot. And so - in all areas of business. A potential buyer is the “golden fleece” that entrepreneurs are looking for, and focusing on it, you need to build your own business.