BY MARY FISCHER-TRACY
Over the past few months, we have been looking at how to start on your entrepreneurship journey. Last month we talked about how to figure out if your idea is feasible. This month we are going to take a look at analyzing your industry. This is the part that some people may like and others may hate…. Research!
The goal is to find out about the industry that you are in…If you want to sell landline phones, you will want to research what is going on in the phone or communications industry. Are landlines still being sold? What is the trend….is the industry growing? Or is it declining. Look at national statistics and then look at your own region. These days you can Google anything and find SOMETHING on that topic. But some other ideas might be the US Census Bureau, which has information on businesses as well as demographics. (https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml)
The government also developed the SIC and then the NAICS codes to classify establishments by the type of activity in which they are primarily engaged and to promote the comparability of establishment data describing various facets of the U.S. economy. (https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/ )
There are many more ways to find out what is going on in your industry through SBDC.net, trade magazines and conversations with people in the industry. Sometimes it means going outside of your comfort zone and calling or emailing some people that you wouldn’t normally call or email. As you are doing this research you are looking to see if you have a good business idea but also to see if you need to tweak your idea and get some other concepts that may make your business stand out and be different. Since we are talking about going out of your comfort zone….
Becoming a business owner is one of the best ways to see what you are capable of doing. It’s about gaining self-confidence and doing things that are outside your comfort zone. It is about your passion and what you will do to make it a success. It’s about rolling with the punches and being able to pick yourself up and do it again over and over, every day. But it is also about being proud to offer your products and services, helping your community and being an important contributor to the economy of your region.
Mary Fischer-Tracy is the business consultant at the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. To make an appointment for consulting, call (262) 595-3363.