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Market Research Worksheet

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


This worksheet can help you come up with a business idea by figuring out what the market needs. Don't be afraid to be outlandish; sometimes the best ideas sound crazy at first. And if they have some flaws, just put them aside and keep searching.

When you are contemplating business possibilities, keep in mind that you don't have to stay in the business you start forever. You can run a business for a few years until you come up with an off-shoot idea or are in a position to start a more capital-intensive business.

  1. Keep your business antenna up, with an eye out for unfilled opportunities Research the market by:
    • Reading the newspaper and magazines
    • Watching television
    • Talking to people
    • Going to the mall
  2. What products or services would you want that you haven't been able to find?
  3. Is there something that everybody hates to do that you can do for them?
  4. Is there a product or service that would make life easier for people you know?
  5. What business trends are happening that you want to participate in...that really light your fire?
  6. Are there gaps in the market that you can fill with your talents? What are they? (For example, corporate downsizing has opened up the market for services like consulting, desktop publishing, graphic design, staffing services, and computer maintenance).

    Now...
    Write down some potential business ideas. Be specific.... don't list something like 'import/export'; instead try something like 'Import gourmet tortilla chips and salsas'.

 

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