Finding A Market? - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Finding A Market?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-13-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
Member
 
rpm150's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Construction Management
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Finding A Market?


I'm surprised I don't know this but I guess I'll ask it here, what is an effective way to find out if anyone would buy your widget in your area? If I wanted to go into the widget selling business how would I find out if anyone would want any of my widgets is what I'm struggling to figure out.
Ryan
rpm150 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 06-13-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
Pro
 
mikeswoods's Avatar
 
Trade: interior remodeling
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kane Co. Illinois
Posts: 2,716
Rewards Points: 2,664

Re: Finding A Market?


Like all tests---advertise and see if the phone rings---

do research---is someone else selling a similar widget? Are they thriving? If so then you must determine if the market is large enough for your widgets.

What are you hoping to sell? Is anyone else providing that product or service in your area? Or an area similar to yours?

Advertisement

mikeswoods is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to mikeswoods For This Useful Post:
rpm150 (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
Pro
 
SailingandSuch's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Dothan, Alabama
Posts: 121
Rewards Points: 163

Re: Finding A Market?


Well, I'm not to sure what a widget selling business actual sells. Widgets I know, but what are widgets? The only widget I know is on my smart phone......
SailingandSuch is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-13-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
Member
 
rpm150's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Construction Management
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding A Market?


Right, I'm planning to sell my stuff of Craigslist in a 50 mile radius of my home town. My thoughts are just hey I'm selling this widget any custom sizes colors available upon request call ......

Thoughts??

Ryan.
rpm150 is offline  
Old 06-13-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,993
Rewards Points: 6,114

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rpm150 View Post
Right, I'm planning to sell my stuff of Craigslist in a 50 mile radius of my home town. My thoughts are just hey I'm selling this widget any custom sizes colors available upon request call ......

Thoughts??

Ryan.
And you haven't tried already because...?
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is offline  
Old 06-13-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
Member
 
rpm150's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Construction Management
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy

And you haven't tried already because...?
Heh. I need a very expensive tool so, I'm not going to go through with it unless I have a market. Viscous cycle.

Ryan.
rpm150 is offline  
Old 06-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #7
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,993
Rewards Points: 6,114

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rpm150 View Post
Heh. I need a very expensive tool so, I'm not going to go through with it unless I have a market. Viscous cycle.

Ryan.
Well, do exactly what you're doing here. Take out an ad, say you want to see if there's an interest - leave out the "need a megabuck tool first" and see if anything sticks.
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to SmallTownGuy For This Useful Post:
rpm150 (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #8
Pro
 
Roofcheck's Avatar
 
Trade: Know it all
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,104
Rewards Points: 2,054

Re: Finding A Market?


I would not be too interested in buying from someone when they openly admit they have not the proper equipment to provide the service they are advertising.

My experience folks who get past the buyers remorse phase want what they want and expect it already.
Roofcheck is offline  
Old 06-13-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
Member
 
rpm150's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Construction Management
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofcheck
I would not be too interested in buying from someone when they openly admit they have not the proper equipment to provide the service they are advertising.

My experience folks who get past the buyers remorse phase want what they want and expect it already.
Right, I've made several of these items while in school using the junk school equipment, so experience isn't an issue, I'm just not going to bother Buying the toll of no one wants to buy what I'd make with it, doesn't make sense.

Which is what spawned my question of how do you find out if there is a market for them before you dive in head first.

Ryan.
rpm150 is offline  
Old 06-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
The Ultimate Wire Hider
 
tedanderson's Avatar
 
Trade: A/V & Home Theater Installation
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PG County MD
Posts: 4,455
Rewards Points: 2,116

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rpm150 View Post
Which is what spawned my question of how do you find out if there is a market for them before you dive in head first.
Find out if there is anyone else selling widgets.. specifically your kind of widgets. If you find someone selling your widgets, find out how well they are doing.

Of course they aren't going to always assist their competitor but there are creative ways to examine a business from afar and/or ways of doing business with them to secretly examine their business model.
__________________
I'm always looking for the answer to my troubles at the bottom of a paint can.
tedanderson is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to tedanderson For This Useful Post:
rpm150 (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #11
Pro
 
steex's Avatar
 
Trade: repair and remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 541
Rewards Points: 510

Re: Finding A Market?


http://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur...ee_before_you/
steex is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to steex For This Useful Post:
rpm150 (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
Member
 
rpm150's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Construction Management
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by steex
Great link. Thanks for that.
rpm150 is offline  
Old 06-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #13
Pro
 
Oconomowoc's Avatar
 
Trade: construction
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,895
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding A Market?


4 things

1.) If it's difficult to determine the market is probably small. I know without research that there's a market for plumbing, therefore I'm not concerned about dropping $10k on a tool.

2.) If the market is small an expensive piece of equipment will bury you,

3.) Market research and Craigslist don't really belong in the same sentence.

4.) The time you'll invest in this is probably better off put in your existing business.
Oconomowoc is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Oconomowoc For This Useful Post:
Creter (06-14-2013)
Old 06-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #14
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,993
Rewards Points: 6,114

Re: Finding A Market?


When Ford made the commitment to build an everyman's car - there was no existing market - no "market" to research.

When Ford started production, he not only had to buy an expensive tool (the factory) he had to adapt unknown technology (the assembly line).

Craigslist is used daily by number crunchers. That's a fact. And it is free, no risk. We used it to determine if there was room for our latest business.

If Ford had stayed with what he was doing, instead of taking the risk (he failed 3 times) he would have remained a nameless engineer at Edison.

There is no worse smell than when a young adult gets a spark that he/she wants to turn into a fire and some old fart comes along and p*sses on it.

Success is the process of trying, failing. learning and trying again. It is NEVER "oh better do the SAFE thing".A kid doesn't learn to ride a bike by being told "hey you'd be better off sitting in your sh*tty diaper, playing with your plastic blocks".

pfft
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SmallTownGuy For This Useful Post:
Roofcheck (06-14-2013), tedanderson (06-15-2013)
Old 06-14-2013, 10:35 AM   #15
Pro
 
CarpenterSFO's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 7,076
Rewards Points: 2,044

Re: Finding A Market?


Market research consists of some simple steps:
1) Look around the market for similar items; see how they're priced and whether they seem successful.
2) Ask target customers if they'd buy your widget. Collect information about why/why not, price points, etc. Because these are questions, not purchase decisions, this information isn't perfect.
3) Make a limited run of prototypes and sell them. This is market research still, and you may lose money on this step.
4) If the results are good, tool up and go into business. You can't eliminate all the risk.

Don't be too secretive about what your widget is. If it's truly new you can and should patent it, but your success will likely depend far more on your ability to execute a manufacturing and marketing plan than on your ability to keep your widget secret. If you're worried about low-price foreign knock-offs, yes that happens, but usually only once someone has shown some success to be copied. Years ago I was involved in venture capital, and excessive secrecy was a real obstacle for some people, in getting their products funded and manufactured. If you feel you really need to keep it relatively secret, you still need to share the idea with people outside of your circle of friends and family - any feedback you get from them will not be objective.

Check out SCORE or some other local entrepreneur mentoring program - these programs include volunteers who know this stuff inside and out.

Craigslist may be OK for test marketing something, but not for really making money.
__________________
- Bob
CarpenterSFO is offline  
Old 06-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #16
Non-conformist
 
cbscreative's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder of businesses
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,581
Rewards Points: 1,224

Re: Finding A Market?


Maybe this will be helpful. It's more specific to plastic widgets but the information is relevant to almost any invention or idea:

http://www.hladvantage.com/resources...cinvention.htm
cbscreative is offline  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #17
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Essential Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 10,535
Rewards Points: 19,655

Re: Finding A Market?


Years ago my uncle came up with a pvc thing to clip to one's belt and hold a fishing rod so you could free up your hands to unhook a fish, etc. He just made a couple, thinking he'd make more if anybody was interested. He got a buyer from Walmart on the phone, who said "Yeah sure, we'll take 10,000 units." (He wasn't ready for that and couldn't deliver.)

(I corrected the amount. I'm vague on that memory, but it was sizeable.)

Last edited by MarkJames; 06-14-2013 at 11:20 AM.
MarkJames is offline  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:18 AM   #18
Pro
 
Oconomowoc's Avatar
 
Trade: construction
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,895
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy View Post
When Ford made the commitment to build an everyman's car - there was no existing market - no "market" to research.

When Ford started production, he not only had to buy an expensive tool (the factory) he had to adapt unknown technology (the assembly line).

Craigslist is used daily by number crunchers. That's a fact. And it is free, no risk. We used it to determine if there was room for our latest business.

If Ford had stayed with what he was doing, instead of taking the risk (he failed 3 times) he would have remained a nameless engineer at Edison.

There is no worse smell than when a young adult gets a spark that he/she wants to turn into a fire and some old fart comes along and p*sses on it.

Success is the process of trying, failing. learning and trying again. It is NEVER "oh better do the SAFE thing".A kid doesn't learn to ride a bike by being told "hey you'd be better off sitting in your sh*tty diaper, playing with your plastic blocks".

pfft
Oh give me a break! Lol

Do you have any idea how many people try to make something in a garage?

If he can't take criticism then he's screwed before he starts. I'm pretty certain he's not trying to make a product that will revolutionize the world on a global scale.

Let me tell you a little something about a guy who is well read on old Henry.

For starters. He didn't need, ask or give two schits what people thought. He had a vision and just did it! He didn't ask or require opinions on taking risk either. Risk takers are like that. He was a man who hated opinions, because he knew the people who supplied them didn't grasp what his vision was. He was famous for it.

He was a self starter. He took the tools he had and made good with what he had.

He was driven. He wanted it so bad every fiber in his body was 100% committed to his mission. If somebody stood in his way he mowed them right down! Fact.

So here's the question. Is that how committed this young man is?

Let's talk finances.

So how much are we talking for a tool? Under $5k I suppose? Well, should a person be requesting guidance on an open forum before he spends the money? Or should he have enough knowledge and convictions to be able to take the risk?

What is the real risk? I mean, does that mean a broke man who doesn't have much money in reserves and decides to "wing it" on an idea? Or is it a risk taken by a fella who has an excellent financial track record and has money "worth" risking? Those are very different risks.

If it's a product that will change civilization let me know, I'll cut you a check immediately.

We've really become a nation of wimps when a little criticism makes people mad. Good Lord.
Oconomowoc is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Oconomowoc For This Useful Post:
MarkJames (06-14-2013), mikeswoods (06-15-2013)
Old 06-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #19
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Essential Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 10,535
Rewards Points: 19,655

Re: Finding A Market?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy View Post

There is no worse smell than when a young adult gets a spark that he/she wants to turn into a fire and some old fart comes along and p*sses on it.

pfft
25 years ago, my buddy and I started talking about a business partnership involving driving folks to airports. It was his initial idea. So I started asking about making a business plan, basic numbers to break even, how many passengers, how many trips, etc. He just flipped out that I was bashing his idea. That "plan" lasted about a half day. It was all my fault.
MarkJames is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to MarkJames For This Useful Post:
tedanderson (06-15-2013)
Old 06-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #20
Nest Home Improvement
 
carolinahandyma's Avatar
 
Trade: Home improvement simplified!
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 890
Rewards Points: 518

Re: Finding A Market?


I have worked with two inventors that worked in the trades and had an idea and went for it. One got theirs into Home Depot. Am happy to help you suss out your idea further and am happy to sign and NDA. PM if interested.

Advertisement

__________________

Serving the home improvement needs of the Triangle www.NestHomeImprovement.com
carolinahandyma is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another Track saw hits the market. TBFGhost Tools & Equipment 14 01-09-2013 11:24 AM
Market Size MEL Marketing & Sales 14 01-07-2013 12:31 PM
Tactful ideas to get into a sensitive market flashheatingand Marketing & Sales 9 05-13-2012 09:43 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?