Fitting in is an essential element. Creative ingenuity will help you to find a unique product and a new kind of service however being in the right place and at the right time requires a lot of predictability. Customers need to find what they want in the place they know they’ll find it so whatever you do or provide, has to be presented and delivered in a way people can automatically use. Imagine the warehouse of boxes, they all fit in and the operator can apply the same kind of action to each box but the contents of the box can vary a great deal. Business and service is a lot like this. Your box has to fit on the shelf, no matter what it is that’s inside.
A market analysis will help you to find the perfect box, the right shelf, and the proper code so that anyone can come along and action the box accordingly. Getting this wrong can ultimately cost a lot of grief and problems that can be avoided by a little bit of research. Analysing the market is a multi-sensory activity with scientific and humanistic attributes that work together. We have to be able to look inward and outward in equal amounts with a fair and responsible attitude.
Bearing in mind that once you are in the market you are part of the market, the first destination for our feelers is our own section. Our portion of the market is what we are in charge of and can manage ourselves so by taking a look at our own niche in an academically critical way, we can help to sharpen our box of tools. Something that is often drawn upon by marketers is what’s called a SWOT analysis. Like swotting up on your skills, this selection of lenses helps us to determine our persona and direction.
Strengths are what define the product and service. The things you are good at and do well are the place you begin when determining what it is you actually do. By understanding your strengths you can design a product or service that makes use of them. Because you are in a better position than the majority with your strengths, you know that your products and services will be useful to other people. In order to truly fortify this, you must continuously learn how to improve. This doesn’t mean you’re bad at it, it just means that every new facet can bring out new and powerful aspects to what you can offer.
Weaknesses are important to know about. It is important to know where you are likely to fail or be unable to provide the same level of service that another person might be able to. No one is good at everything so you don’t need to worry about having weaknesses. It doesn’t mean you have to advertise them or let everyone know about them but it does give you a reminder to not start selling a part of yourself that needs a lot of work. Leave it to the people who are good at it and if you really want to then begin learning for yourself.
Opportunities are everywhere. The ones that relate to your strengths are the ones to aim towards. We can look for opportunities at every level of focus, from empty premises to holes in the market. We can spot that people want to have a particular service or that certain methods are in demand. When a problem arises, there is an opportunity. Customers need new problems to be solved and new ways of organising their days, with an open mind and an open set of eyes we can think about how we can apply our strengths to the situation.
Threats are what can cause us to be unsuccessful or to have problems that make our service more difficult to operate. The kind of threat that appears depends on the circumstance, they can fall into one of three main categories. Financial threats are those that cost us money and prevent us from making a profit. Everything can boil down to this type of threat eventually but it’s possible to determine threats before they get to this point. Competitive threats arise when other businesses create products and services that are substitutes for our own. Often people choose based on price and are prepared to forgo multiple perks in order to get the basic service at the price they want. Substitutes are often marketed as so and the comparison to you is made, drawing people away. This means we have to really work hard to communicate why it’s worth paying more or even create our own substitutes. Cultural threats arise from legal and community situations that may change from place to place. If your product works well in your hometown then it should work elsewhere provided you assess the threat caused by geographical differences in culture.
When we have analysed our own set of skills and weaknesses by applying them to genuine opportunities we have discovered, it’s possible to apply the same principle to those around us in the market. By aligning yourself in such a way that compliments the market by offering unique and inventive strengths that cover the gaps left over by different retailers, you’ll find yourself perfectly positioned to promote what you do.