Knowing your market is an essential business skill for success. Existing business need to know the latest trends, is there a new market opening, is it profitable to get involved in it, where is that market going? For start-up businesses its a matter of identifying the right market and being able to reach that target market.
But it’s really hard to do, as witnessed by the failure of so many once-profitable well-run businesses. Here in the UK there has been the recent failure of the Comet chain, a well-known high street electronics retailer. Most commentators reckon they just missed the market with too many shops in high rent areas and not enough investment in online retailing. Another large retailer Argos have announced they will no longer publish their famous catalogue, so renowned it’s become a national institution. They will instead focus more on online shopping. Some commentators argue it may be too little too late.
As any good surfer will tell you, it’s important to be on the wave. Not behind it and not in front of it. So spend some time looking at your market, is it changing, what trends are happening, where is the next big wave coming from? Because it’s best to stay on the wave, if you don’t then you end up floundering in the surf and that’s really not good for your business.