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Can I sell this product or service for a profit? Even if you have an existing customer, and have accurately estimated what it will cost you to acquire that customer; you might not have a sustainable business model until revenues outweigh the expenses...You need to find the incremental steps you can take to get to profitability. This is not easy. Again, there is no road map, but remember that patience is needed to reach profitability.” (One solution that is becoming a common practice throughout many parts of the world is micro-financing. Micro-financing is where a small loan is made available to an entrepreneur in a developing country. While micro-financing is arguably one form of financing micro-financing has been documented to be a more sustainable form of financing because the amount of the loan is made in such a small (micro) amount that the recipient of the loan does not have to leverage the startup's best interests and assets in order to pay the loan back. The small amount of money loaned to the entrepreneur can usually be paid back from the revenues that the new venture is generating. Check out this micro financing website: (External Link) .)

“Be open and flexible and recognize that along the way to profitability you might stumble on to a product or service that is in higher demand than the original concept.

When do I give up on my product or service? When should I pull up the roots of my new venture?

In the characteristics of an entrepreneur...perseverance was listed. There is a point, however, where you need to “pull the plug” and refocus your energies. You know you have reached this point when:

You have run out of resources and can’t further leverage any of the methods suggested in this book.

The customers who said they would buy your product during your research phase are no longer interested.

You can’t effectively market to your customer.

It costs you more than you make to sell your product or service.

During market opportunity assessment, there are times when the entrepreneur needs to “hit the brakes” and stop. Not stopping fast enough can lead to a failed business and/or bankruptcy. There are also times when an entrepreneur should “step on the accelerator” and drive on to new market opportunity territories. Knowing when to stop and go in your new venture market opportunity assessment isn’t easy.

To help you decide when to move forward with and when to forego an opportunity, please see the “Stop and Go Signs for Assessing Market Opportunity Matrix." It's common for an entrepreneurial marketer to get caught up in what seems like a great idea or business concept. This matrix is a concise, easy to reference and somewhat simplistic way to make decisions on judging market opportunity. This matrix suggests four major causes for a new venture to not find a profitable market opportunity.

Recognizing when you are on the verge of going through a Stop Sign without braking is critical. You can refer back to these stop signs in this matrix as constant reminders of when to turn your market opportunity strategy in another direction.”

If there are no customers for the product, the customers purchase motivations are unknown, there are unprofitable sales of the product, or resources are running out, then stop. If trends indicate an emerging market opportunity, the timing is right to attract customers for the product, total costs for selling the product is known, or sales to customers yield sustainable profitable results, then go!
Stop and Go Signs for Assessing Market Opportunity Matrix “When to Access Market Opportunity” text and “Stop and Go Signs for Assessing Market Opportunity Matrix” adapted and reprinted with permission from Mentorography, Inc. © 2008. All Rights Reserved. Entrepreneurial Marketing; Real Stories and Survival Strategies by Molly Lavik and Bruce Buskirk, Mini Module on Assessing Market Opportunity, pages xxxix-xli.

If you encounter any of the four Go Signs when you are assessing market opportunity, don’t take time out to pat yourself on the back. This is because if you look over your shoulder you may seesomeone else realizing what you have discovered. Keep “driving on” if you are encountering all Go Signs.” “When to Access Market Opportunity” text and “Stop and Go Signs for Assessing Market Opportunity Matrix” adapted and reprinted with permission from Mentorography, Inc. © 2008. All Rights Reserved. Entrepreneurial Marketing; RealStories and Survival Strategies by Molly Lavik and Bruce Buskirk, Mini Module on Assessing Market Opportunity, pages xxxix-xli.

Read on : [link] and [link] discuss market opportunity in greater detail.

Blog Back 2: Go Signs

Blog Back : Analyze your new venture’s market opportunity; do you have all “Go” signs? If you have all or some “Stop” signs what can you do to remove the roadblocks that are causing your “Stop” signs? Enter your strategy for obtaining all “Go” signs at (External Link) .

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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