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Founders: 5 Points in 5 Minutes: Market Size

As a Founder and CEO of a startup, you are aware of the importance of demonstrating traction quickly. Each day brings new challenges to grow your business, gain investment, and generate revenues while working with extremely limited resources. We all ask, what can be done to make the best decisions? As a mentor for the past 2 ½ years, I’ve worked with 3 incubators and supported 30+ startups in Chicago.

Through my work as a mentor and interacting with Founders, and human beings in general, I noticed that with limited time and resources, people may form business assumptions on a single quote from an important customer, or from a unique work experience. These assumptions can be accurate and useful, but I often wondered,

“If more work could be done upfront and continuously, would a thorough and independent understanding of the market and dynamics help to unlock new opportunities or shape a strategy that could be more in-line with growing trends and opportunities”?

It was with this question in mind that I set out to help Founders and teams find easy ways to gain and build market knowledge to shape and inform decisions and strategies. I’ve also seen the benefits from a great understanding of the market to aid in investor pitch decks, positioning, and developing impactful messaging that resonate with targeted customers.

There are already many resources available online to help you develop a Market Assessment. I recently performed an internet search “how to conduct a market assessment”. Over 10 very good options appeared with Hubspot, Vendanfu and Nerdwallet being the most popular sites. I felt though that something was missing, Founders and their teams are often too busy to devote large amounts of time to develop a coordinated full market assessment.

To supplement what is currently available online, and to make things faster, I started to create a series of quick one-pagers and my first is named 5 Points in 5 Minutes: Market Size to help give more in-depth information and pointers to help Founders create an impactful Market Assessment as quickly and painlessly as possible.

In closing, there are 3 action items I suggest you can take:

· Leverage what you can from other people’s knowledge and experiences: join an incubator that focuses on your industry; this is a great way to grow your network and to receive relevant resources and classes given by industry experts.

· Perform your market assessment early: once you become busy in the day-to-day management of your company, it will be challenging to find the time to work on a market assessment

· Review 5 Points in 5 Minutes: Market Size: and please send me comments through my LinkedIn or Twitter to let me know, was this helpful? What would you like to learn more about next? Trends? Voice of your Customers? Competitive Landscape? Unique Product Positioning?

Note: I researched numerous resources and lectures to create 5 Points in 5 Minutes: Market Size, but would like to give special recognition to the University of Chicago Polsky Center resources through the Alumnae New Venture Challenge providing lectures from Guy Turner and Waverly Deutsche, please consider to follow them on Twitter!

Also note that this is my first blog, many thanks to Randy Hlavac @NUsocialmktg for his leadership and great teaching using MOOCs on Coursera.

Mary Beth Arzac is the Principal Consultant and owner of MKT Consulting LLC, and enjoys tackling and solving problems with her clients. Mary Beth is also an Advisor to startups Inference Analytics and NeuroPath, and currently is a lead mentor through the C2MP MATTER Health Incubator. Mary Beth gained her BA and MBA from the University of Chicago College and Booth School of Business. In her free time, Mary Beth serves as Co-President for the District 113 Education Foundation working with amazing educators dedicated to bringing innovative tools for learning to all students.


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