How do you seize a new opportunity? First you…
November 25, 2010
When I worked at Best Buy, we were opening lots of stores in many new markets. We were seizing opportunities at every turn. Sometimes things went smoothly. More often, we ran up against something that caused us to scramble to fix the problem and get back on schedule. When I was at CompUSA and opened the Madison, WI location, I discovered that a lot of the things we learned still applied. In fact, the process of opening a new market turned out to be remarkably similar wherever I worked.
How do you open a new market? Whether it is a new geographic territory, a new product/service offering, or a new opportunity? Many of the same concepts apply. Let’s explore them together and see if you agree.
For our purposes, we will focus on how you would open a new store (business) in a new City or Town.
The first thing, or Concept #1:
Know where you want to go, and why you want to go there!
Identifying your Target Market is a basic step in opening any new venture, or market. You can read hundreds of books, blogs, articles, and case studies on how to correctly identify your Target Market.
- Do we/I offer something that this market is willing to pay for?
- Are there enough people who live and work in this city who qualify as my best customers?
- Can we/I get potential customers to buy from us/me?
- Who else does what we/I do in this market?
- Can we capture enough market share to be profitable?
- Will it grow with us?
As you know, these are the very basics of market research. When you look at a potential new market, these questions all should have “yes” responses. Otherwise, why would you go there?
Well, there may be a few good reasons to go into a new market that may not give immediate “yes” answers to all of the above questions.
- Can we/I make a significant contribution to this community that is not being provided by someone else?
- Will this move block a move by our competitor(s)?
- Does this market make/break our expansion/growth plans?
- Can it wait? Is this a “now-or-never” opportunity?
Each organization has to weigh the responses against its own culture, vision, and P&L. None of us will make the same choice every time, even when the answers are all “yes” or all “no”.
What are the defining questions you ask when looking at a new market or opportunity? I’m sure there are some key ones not included here.
Next time, we will look at who do you need to connect with from the market to enter smoothly. It may not be who you think it is.