Researching Your Market

Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in business for years, it’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with your market information. A Market assessment should be conducted to help determine the viability of a proposed product in the marketplace. The market assessment will help you identify opportunities in a market or market segment. If no opportunities are found, there may be no reason to proceed with a feasibility study. If opportunities are found, the market assessment can give focus and direction to the construction of business alternatives to investigate in the feasibility study. A market assessment will provide much of the information for the marketing section of the feasibility study.

A feasibility study is an analysis of the viability of an idea. The feasibility study focuses on helping answer the essential question of “should we proceed with the proposed project idea?” All activities of the study are directed toward helping answer this question.
Feasibility studies can be used in many ways but primarily focus on proposed business ventures. Companies and Individuals with a business idea should conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of their idea before proceeding with the development of the business. Determining early-on that business idea will not work saves time, money and heartache later.

The feasibility study outlines and analyzes several alternatives or methods of achieving business success. So the feasibility study helps to narrow the scope of the project to identify the best business model. The business plan deals with only one alternative or model. The feasibility study helps to narrow the scope of the project to identify and define two or three scenarios or alternatives. The consultant conducting the feasibility study may work with the group to identify the “best” alternative for their situation. This becomes the basis for the business plan

Reasons to Do a Feasibility Study

Conducting a feasibility study is a good business practice. If you examine successful businesses, you will find that they did not go into a new business venture without first thoroughly examining all of the issues and assessing the probability of business success.
Below are other reasons to conduct a feasibility study.
  • Gives focus to the project and outline alternatives
  • Narrows business alternatives
  • Surfaces new opportunities through the investiga- tive process
  • Identifies reasons not to proceed
  • Enhances the probability of success by addressing and mitigating factors early on that could affect the project
  • Provides quality information for decision making
  • Helps to increase investment in the company
  • Provides documentation that the business venture was thoroughly investigated
  • Helps in securing funding from lending institutions and other sources

The feasibility study is a critical step in the business assessment process. If properly conducted, it may be the best investment you ever made.