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Old 03-21-2008, 05:52 PM
Location: In my view finder.....
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I want to start a business but i am not sure what business to start.

Does anyone know how to do market research to determine whether or not a product or service is needed in the market place?

I am not trying to invent a new product or service.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:31 AM
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Depends on the product or service. If you aren't sure what business to start, your first task is to make a list of possibilities, then interview the owners of existing businesses for information, look at the balance sheets of similar companies large enough to be on the stock market, examine the census records to get the demographics of the area you will be serving, and figure out your estimated cost of start-up. Once you have that figure and added some fat, triple it at minimum. If you don't have that amount of money available, find something else. The major cause of small business failure is undercapitalization. With a tight credit market, that is even more of an issue.

There are books that can guide you - "Small Time Operator" is a classic, some versions of "What Color Is Your Parachute?" have questionaires that can help you discover what businesses you are suited for. The book changes over the years, and it can pay to get copies from the earlier years as well as a current edition. You'll also need books on how to set up a corporation,LLC, or sole proprietorship, and you should have an experienced accountant to guide you in your recordkeeping and taxes. Don't forget insurance, if people come to your place of business, you'll need that right away. One other thing - expect to work more hours than you ever worked for an employer. It is a rare successful business that doesn't take all of your time.
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