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Determining customer demand for your product

Whether or not people are interested in your product will determine whether or not your business will be successful. Adequate customer demand is crucial for entrenching sustainability, bringing in revenue beyond breakeven, increasing word-of-mouth recommendations and ultimately growing your customer base. If your product is one that effectively solves your target market’s problem(s), demand can only grow, until consumer trends change in the future – at which point you should adapt accordingly.

However, how do you determine if there is any demand for your product before it becomes available on the market? At first glance you may say you will know customer demand after your product hits the shelves, but this is basically running your business blindly. In order to determine preliminary customer demand, and avoid painful losses of time and money by investing in a wrong product, follow these steps:

Analyse your competitors

Businesses selling products similar to yours can offer a very good indication about the demand of your products. Make sure you are looking at companies selling products as similar to yours as possible, and are also about the same size as yours (comparing apples to apples).

Use surveys

This is one of the best and fastest ways to see if your product is in demand. The online world gives you many opportunities to target your potential customers and ask a series of simple questions to gauge if they would buy your product.

Give away samples

These should be given to people who would be interested in using your product. You are likely to find someone similar to your target market among your friends and family, and you can start with them. Ask them to use it and provide feedback on whether they would recommend it to others, what they would like to see improved and whether they would buy it.

Use online tools to determine demand

Platforms such as Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find out if people in your city are searching for products similar to yours on the internet. If there is high search volume for your product, then it is likely there is high demand to buy it as well.

Customer demand is a crucial factor for determining if your business is likely to succeed. Looking at your competitors’ success, using surveys and checking if people are looking for products like yours online can go a long way in helping you determine customer demand effectively. The above list is far from exhaustive, but gives you a few simple and cost-effective ways to measure product demand – before going into expensive launches and so forth.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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