It’s a brand new decade, and you know what that means – it’s time to take the plunge and do everything you’ve intended to do. It’s about time you make that golden business idea of yours come to life. You want to introduce this brand new clothing concept in Miami – you want to cater to the girls that have an eclectic sense of fashion. You have the money all saved up, you registered your LLC, and you found the perfect spot to open your glorious brick-and-mortar store. Everything fell into place…
Just to fall back apart. You’re missing a critical part – how does your idea actually fit into Miami? Is your concept really that unique? Is there anyone doing what you plan to do? Who are your competitors? Who is your ideal consumer? Why you and why this company? What is your competitive advantage? Is Miami actually the right place for this? How are you going to make this work?
This seems a lot, and it is. You probably can’t answer most of these questions confidently. Here’s some tough love: a “great” idea isn’t enough when building a business. You need to obtain data and assess your environment to make critical decisions. You need to make sure you think this through so your investment isn’t in vain.
Here’s some good news: it’s easier than you think. Do yourself a favor and visit the following sites to get the information you need:
- The U.S. Census to obtain the data you need to understand if your business is right for Miami. You can understand the type of data sets offered for free with their Academy (Links to an external site.). Once you got a grasp on the data available and what’s best for you, utilize tools like the Census Business Builder. (Links to an external site.) This can help you obtain relevant and pertinent demographic and economic data.
- Visit the Nielsen (Links to an external site.) site to assess how consumers consume and feel about different media for advertising. You can even see the cost of each medium. There’s even data from the point-of-sale machines used at stores (basically the cash register) to understand consumer purchase behavior and product sentiments.
- Check out IRI (Links to an external site.)to further understand purchase behavior and consumer trends.
Now that you know where to look for data, start taking notes! Take it a step further and connect with leaders in your business’s industry in your desired market. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and build connections. The only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask.
For help with understanding and synthesizing data, understand the difference between data and information.