Thriving In Smaller Markets
This is the second installment of our ‘Can Coworking Spaces Be Profitable?’ blog post series, where we discuss topics like how to find industry statistics, determine cost drivers, conduct competitor analysis and more. Scroll down for past and future installments -- we have seven in total!
Learning where the market is heading towards is not an exact science, but it isn’t a crystal ball affair either. Yet, instead of relying on secondary sources, you can always do some detective work yourself.
You can, for example, head over to Mashable and check its “What’s Rising” section together with graphs showing which stories are the most shared ones. Reddit is your ally here as well, as you can easily dive into discussions that are relevant to the market you are interested in. Feeling the pulse of the market is made even easier via its Trending Subreddits. Finally, you can go full Holmes on this one and try to infer what goes in the market by glancing over the headlines only – AllTop will give you access to the most attractive ones on any trending topic on the web.
Looking for new business models leaves you with two options: starting from scratch or building atop the success of others. In case you do not feel like breaking new grounds right now, learning from what others did well is the way to go. It will require some tweaks and looking out for the ways to improve on this model so as to suit your current needs. Make sure you read through the top ranking list of blogs and publications that are relevant to your industry (which you can make yourself) and look for success stories and industry reports for the informative nuggets about why particular models work.
This one is similar to the previous ones, with the added opportunity to expand your efforts to include social media as well. Make sure you check your Facebook’s Trending section to the right of the newsfeed as well Twitter’s Moments and go through the audience’s comments. You can do the same for forums or any other virtual hub or network which gathers people that you target as your potential customers.
In addition, using tools such as Moz or Google AdWords will help you analyze the queries and keywords people use when doing online search about any problem they may have. Accompanying graphs will show the ebbs and tides in their interest. Finally, do not be afraid to surround yourself by smart and young people to find out what they demand of any particular product or service you may supply.
Disruptors are a special category of businesses which create their own value and introduce changes to established market patterns. In order to determine when a market is ripe for disruption, you’ll need to study it carefully, with an added twist that, this time, you do NOT focus on what the most successful players are doing. It’s like using BuzzSumo to discover what’s trending with content or backlinks, only to ignore the big players and try to look at the market from your customer’s point of view. Thankfully, if you have done your homework on all of the above points, you are already well-equipped to look for any seemingly innocuous opening in the market which just waits to be conquered by a smart and timely move.
Identifying market disruptors or potential for disruption means being able to “ignore” what established market players do in favor of looking at it from your customer’s perspective.
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