Determining Market Size: Easy as the Three Bears—It’s Got to Be Just Right
Once you have your idea, know the difference between markets and topics, and have isolated your target market, it’s time to figure out the size of your market. If the market is too big, you’ll spread your energy trying to reach too many people. If the market is too small, it won’t be profitable.
To determine a market’s size, you can use three free sources and one paid source:
- Google (free)
- Wikipedia (free)
- Yahoo! Answers/WikiAnswers (free)
- Uclue.com (paid)
To use Google, type in “number of” followed by the name of your market such as “working moms” or “forex traders.” For example, suppose you wanted to know the market of marathon runners. Visit Google and search for “number of marathoners.” This will display a list of links.
Click on the links that seem most relevant, such as Marathon Guide, which offers its 2007 USA marathon report. This will show you that the total number of marathon finishers in 2007 was 407,000 people. More important, the growth curve shows a slight dip in marathon finishers in 2001, but from 2002 on, the market keeps steadily growing. By 2007, there were over 400,000 marathon finishers (see Figure 3.1).
Remember, these are people who actually finished marathons, but there are many more people who are just ...