The 6 domains of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: Part Two — Markets

Last week we focused on Culture. This week we’ll delve into Domain #2, MARKETS

There may initially be only a small market in the field in which you are launching or growing your business. There might be some major players, some small players, but there are always other players. Acknowledge them, be aware of them, and never say they don’t exist. If you say “No one else is doing this,” everyone hears, “I have no clue what I am talking about.” There is always someone doing it, and doing it a bit differently than you.

If you go after the whole market — if you say or think things like “I’m going to sell bottled water, therefore everyone is my customer,” you have fallen into a bottomless trap. It is simply not true that everyone you see is a prospect.

Certainly everyone is welcome to buy your water, but you need to think about who you are targeting.

Let’s be specific and assume your bottle of water will sell for $1. There will be people who say that is too expensive, and some who say you should be charging more. There will be those willing to pay, and some who never drink water, or only drink a certain brand.

You can call me crazy, but my goal is to get you re-thinking your assumptions and to be realistic in your approach. What you will learn is the more specific you are about your customer, the bigger your market becomes and the less specific, the bigger you think it is, the smaller market share you will capture.

If you have to tell people “Everyone buys my water,” it is likely no one will buy it. But if you say “Companies or people with A,B,C, and D buy my water,” they might ask can X,Y, and Z buy as well? Then you have a new market.

BEFORE YOU GO

  • What criteria will you use to define your target market?
  • Who is your first target customer?
  • What can you do to be more specific in targeting your markets?

NEXT WEEK: HUMAN CAPITAL

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Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.