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Shark Tank

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Have you seen Shark Tank? It’s got me hooked. And my GM (aka daughter Julie) tells me the US version is even better. Budding entrepreneurs who pitch their dreams to a panel of seasoned players who’ve made it big in the business world. It’s fascinating to watch as these guys learn what works… and what clearly doesn’t.

And while it’s important to know your numbers when you’re standing in front of a panel of potential investors, it’s equally important to know your market. What strikes me in watching this show is just how many people have failed to do their market research. Sure they might have a great product, but is anyone asking for it? In other words, do they even have a market. Take the coffee guy for instance. Obviously he loves his coffee. But how many kids are going to want espresso written across the front of their teddy bear?

In developing a new business idea one of the most important things to consider is what the market is asking for. What do your potential buyers actually want? What is it that will meet their need, fix their problem, take away their pain. And it may be that the brilliant idea you thought you had is actually not a goer at all. Because nobody really wants it.

Having your own business is the best way I know to break free of selling your time for money. But as Stephen Covey says ‘First things first’. Before you go throwing thousands of dollars at your great idea, check out what people are asking for. And if they’re not asking for your product, chuck it away now – and go get another one they really do want. Only then can you begin to develop it.

 

So what’s your big idea?

Have you done your market research?