Customer need and analysis

In order to start your business successfully, you need information about your customers right from the start-up phase.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is needed or desired by the customers?
  • What are the main points of attention, which sales characteristics are decisive for a purchase?
  • How have customers met their needs so far (not at all or with competitors)?
  • Does the customer understand my product?
  • Can I achieve the desired revenue from my customers?
  • How can I profit from a demand analysis or sales market analysis?

It is imperative that you find out who is likely to purchase your product/service. This is at least as important as the description of the product.

Through a needs analysis, you can check the marketability of your product or service. This also allows you to determine whether your product/service can be sold regularly or only during certain phases (e.g. seasonally). You can ascertain whether the demand is permanent or temporary and what special sales features your product has that can be particularly highlighted.

You can carry out the requirements analysis yourself, for example, by carrying out customer surveys in the surroundings of your planned location (primary research). However, you can also make use of numerous statistical data, which are published e.g. by the statistical offices of the federal states, research institutes, business development agencies, associations or chambers (secondary research). In essence, the following must be clarified:

  • What product or service do your customers wish you had?
  • What do your customers criticise about the current situation, i.e. before your product is on the market? (What exactly does not run optimally, what is bad about other solutions, what would an improved situation mean for the customer?)
  • Is your offer really a possible solution?

Your customers are your most important source of information. Try to talk to them as early as the start-up phase (and later, too) as systematically as possible and also visit customers. In this way you not only find out whether the product/service is suitable, but also whether you are able to describe it well enough. In addition, you should assess the marketability of your offer on the basis of statistics, surveys or tests by consumer associations and Stiftung Warentest.

You can of course also commission such an analysis, but this might be rather expensive. Consultancy grants are sometimes available for such studies.

The more precisely you address your target group(s), the more efficiently and successfully you will be able to act. In addition, however, it is useful to find out what price level prevails on the sales market and what suppliers are available to you.

An analysis of your sales market helps you to estimate your potential market share, turnover and, if necessary, the purchasing power and structure of your customer group(s) more precisely and in concrete figures.

You should answer the following questions:

  • Which customer group(s) exactly can/do I want to address?
  • What are their characteristics (e.g. age, income, professions and social status, interests, price and service sensitivity)?
  • Will these target groups grow, shrink or remain approximately the same?
  • Where and under what conditions do the customer groups make their purchases so far?
  • How many of these target groups am I likely to reach (regionally, in terms of content)?
  • How often does a customer shop on average?
  • How much revenue does the average customer purchase generate?

Analyse the marketability of your offer on the basis of statistics, surveys or tests by consumer associations and Stiftung Warentest.

Sample text: Customer analysis
The target customer is very busy at work. They find everyday “housework” annoying and time-consuming. Our service offers them improved quality of life. It is decisive for the customer that the housework be carried out by us in the same way or even better than by the customer themselves. So far, the customer has done the housework themselves. They may have had a cleaner for the housekeeping. But they were rather dissatisfied with the result. Our customer is prepared to pay for the extra leisure time.