Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Meeting market demands

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     Markets are always changing. They are subject to fads and fashions--and changing directions. Sometimes new trends pop up and disappear quickly. Other times trends develop into more substantial opportunities. 

     To establish and grow a business means meeting market demands. Your job is to match what you do with what people will pay you to do. It's true for products as well as services.

     Example: Ella is a trained and certified nutritionist. Attracting clients to her business has proved difficult. She tried giving talks at health food stores, supermarkets and senior centers. It worked, but it did not work as well as she hoped. She noticed she got many questions about weight reduction and control. This was a market opportunity that she decided to try. She devised weight reduction programs and seminars for adults and children which she promoted on her website and over social media. When she scheduled these events, they quickly filled up. Some of the attendees became regular clients and referred others to Ella's programs. In addition, she partnered with a chiropractor to hold demonstrations and events. By re-packaging her nutrition programs as weight reduction and healthy eating programs, Ella has tapped into a market trend that is building her business.

     Example: Lisa runs a small bakery. She put two market trends to work to build her bakery operation into a national presence. First, Lisa noticed that shipping methods today (UPS, Fedex, USPS) had exploded in popularity. Quick, overnight shipping satisfied people's thirst for convenience. Second, Lisa noticed that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others) provided a quick and cheap way to reach audiences far beyond the reach of her local bakery. Using her website to put everything together, Lisa began offering brownies and scones to anyone looking to punch up their meetings. Companies, organizations, even private individuals quickly bought into Lisa's new business model. She still has the small local bakery, but it has a greatly expanded back end operation. She employs several people to bake, package and ship the products to buyers every day.

     Example: Tom is a hypnotherapist. He helps people with eating habits, stopping smoking, pain management, and drug addiction. He was approached by a massage therapist who suggested that they take advantage of the growing interest in a well-rounded wellness center. Tom was open to the idea and they came to an agreement to join forces. Since then, the new wellness center has added an acupuncturist, a specialist in life coaching, and an expert in Chinese medicine. All of these activities draw people interested in wellness and benefit by being grouped together. The marketplace is thirsty for information about wellness, and to this end, they hold monthly informational events with demonstrations. 

     You run across market trends all the time in your own business operation. Picking and choosing which way to go in growing your business can be difficult. You might simply re-structure your business to better align it with markets. Or, you might take off in a completely new direction. 

    Market trends are never static. What works today might not work tomorrow. It take constant attention on your part.