So let’s say I wake up one morning with the brilliant idea to go into the gadget making business. What information would be helpful for me to know? Of course, being brilliant, I know all I need to know about the gadget itself so I am good there but there are a few things that I should take a look at. Let’s look at a couple.
I might want to know if there are any other companies out there making a gadget like mine. Taking a look at statistics provided by the US Census Bureau I would be able to find that out. This information will let me know who my competitors are and how many of them are out there. I could find the field wide open and be ahead of the game and be bringing a new gadget to market or I could find a long list of companies offering gadgets like mine. This information will definitely affect the way I do business. For example, if there were a lot of competitors out there I would need to focus on how to make my brand stand out instead of educating customers on what my gadget is.
Other information that one can glean form the Census Bureau is how the competition is doing financially. I would want to know how much money my brilliant idea is going to make me and of course, anyone I would be looking at for capital for my new venture is going to want to know that as well. Knowing what kind of revenue I would be looking at is going to let me know a few things like how many of my cool gadgets I would need to plan to sell each year thus giving me an idea of what production or material cost I would be looking at and even how many people I will need to hire. For any business payroll is one of the biggest expenses they face and having an idea of what to expect and thus budget for is necessary if that business wants to be successful.
Knowing these things among others will make it easier to plan out and create a successful business. Knowing who the competition is will give good insight on what to expect, what you have to have and can live without. In any case the more you know they better you become. It is not always good to want what the Jones’ have but knowing how things are going for them will let me stay ahead of the pack and be the best I can be. Everyone needs a good benchmark to measure against to make sure they keep moving forward.