Don already mentioned some good questions to ask yourself. I'd like to add a few more suggestions.
Get to know customers of knit products REALLY well. You can either do this by talking to them (much better if it's in person) or going to trade shows, meetups, checking online retailers, reading customer reviews of existing knit items elsewhere, etc. etc. The point is that you should try to gain as intimate a knowledge of user's needs and interests. If you find out, for instance, that most buyers of knit products are parents who want their kids to look cute, then you'll get the idea that you need to knit children's items.
The tricky part here that, if done right, would really make you stand out is if you start a knitting line of products that takes everyone by surprise - in a pleasant way of course. For instance, maybe hand-knit coffee warmers targeted at working professional designers that showcase other designer's work on them could be a niche hit! Trying to get market research to evaluate the demand for this would either be hard or give you a false perception that the demand is low (when in fact, it could just be latent).
One tactic to aid you could be to knit only one item of the product you are thinking of, creating a page advertising it, along with a shopping cart system for anyone who wishes to purchase it, and then spreading that page to as many people in your target segment as possible (via email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, referrals, etc,).
Now you can start tracking real-time demand data in the form of number of visits to your page vs how many people put in an order for it. If you find that the numbers are quite low, either you need to change your price, your product type, or your target segment (or any combination of them!). Keep iterating until you start pushing the needle.
Hope this helps!
Simple question but not a simple answer as I do not know your business structure. If I assume you are a small start-up entrepreneurial company and that you are currently selling directly to the end user. As a starter, I would recommend that you look at the demographic that is currently buying your end product. Know or find out:
What is typical income range?
Where do they live geographically?
Is there a specific Gender that prefers the product?
Those are the basic questions, once you have that information, then you can do some research to find out what part of the general population meets those criterion. If you know your customer base, then figure out how many people who have been exposed actually bought the product. Once you have the ration, you can guess on what the available market would be if the remaining of the demographic was exposed to the product.
You already have two good answers.
If you are just starting out, I suggest that you first find a "want" that is currently unmet by other knit products. It may be something you uncover yourself or that a potential customer suggests.
That "want" will lead you to develop a sample, as Ali has suggested,which can be used to confirm the efficacy and acceptance of your solution with your potential customers.
From this effort, you will hopefully find a large enough market segment that will pay for what you're planning to provide. Start with one "early adopter", they will lead you to others.
As Don has suggested, once you know the details of who will want, need and pay for your product, you can then develop your business model so that, when all is said and done, you can determine whether or not you can provide your product at a price that will yield a profit for your efforts.
Hope this helps.
Get a survey going. Find out what people think of the product. Is it a product that people need or, more importantly, want? Is there something about the product that appeals to people? I would do a series of surveys to narrow down the demographic range.
One can also organise focus groups to discuss and give their thoughts on the product including feedback on the type range, colors, price etc of the product that are most appealing
1. Visit stores that sell similar products and ask them about their biggest challenge with the knit goods they already sell. Solving that challenge is a good initial market focus, and may also create an eager sales channel.
2. Find online discussions (i.e. search for "knit" on twitter) and see what people are talking / complaining about. The community that already uses these goods are a great place to look for ways to improve it.
Research the size of the market - the information is readily available. Take a look at your competitors and their value propositions. The decide if you can enter the market with faster, cheaper, and better knit goods than they have. If you think you can then develop your unique selling proposition and go for it.
I think there's MANY answers to this question. But, the first answer that comes to my mind is to do some simple keyword research to see what the 'search volume' is for keywords related to your product/service. Google is 1 of the ways you can do that. From there, see if you can find out the RECENT search volume is for those keywords. (IE: It's 1 thing to know it's been searched for, but it's another to know searches for it are recent. Because DEMAND changes over time for various things.)
As far as HOW to do these things, just do some research with Google and you'll find a smorgasborg of options! :-)
Hope that's helpful for you.
To YOUR success,
#1 Best-Selling Author from TV
Thank you everyone for all of the great responses! I would love to give out a survey, but need to find a group of people to survey first... maybe I'll be able to find some in online knitting groups.
go and show people an example and ask them if they will buy it, wear the article and see if someone comments in a crowded place
make some samples and do some fairs or trade shows and see what reposne buyers give you - no product / no response
product price and place
the right price
the right place
the right product and who you think is the right person who will buy and wear it
How are you going to market? Where are you planning to sell the products?
In my opinion planning demand before you sell the product is a waste of time unless you need it to raise funding.
If that is the case then you need to decide who you want to sell and then how many units would be shipped if each item to each store and then multiply that number by four.
For examply you sell a chain with 100 stores and have 6 items and 6 each per store this will yield a total sales volume of 14400 units per year for planning purposes. For retailers you then have to have backup of 7200 in my opinion because you need to provide for restocking at a higher rate of orders than the POS numbers.
If you are selling on the internet only then
The best approach is to look at your products and say to yourself is this something that I would buy for myself, and look around to see what others are buying. I know when there is something out there that I like and use, and it is very hard to find then use that as a sounding board for your future items and products.
When you're creating a new line, or wholly new product 'demand' may not even exist yet. So it can't be measured in the existing world. What you have to do is to ask your potential customers (like when they bought similar items to yours) -- what would you like to see in a product like this, what changes could be made to make it better, more attractive ... outside of that, you could make a small number and get people to look at it, evaluate it ... and probe them to give you feedback on the unique parts that you added. Once they understand the new features etc, this will create the demand.
Lynn you need a Strategic Plan. Without a Strategic Plan you will start making moves that will put you into a reaction mode. Meaning you will start reacting to things that come up.
Once you have a Strategic Plan in place, all of the great answers you received on this thread will make a lot of sense. A lot of small businesses jump right in due to lack of funds, but it always put them on the reaction side of the business which can slow up the growth process due to always fixing or working on this that just 'pop' up.
This question you asked is a great question and you can get all of your answers, goals, and plans with a Strategic Plan. It's not a business plan, it is a plan of goals stringed together to reach a specific goal.
Echoing what others have said, it is important to understand your target market as well as possible. Understanding their buying power relative to the potential price of your goods will play a big role. Also, understand what your business can bring to the market that others cannot or do not do as well will help better shape who your target market is as well. Good luck!
Gauging demand is the be the best place to start.
You need to know if people want the knits, AND are willing to pay for it.
You could either start with selling to people around the community. You can get a better idea about a reasonable price for them too [hopefully without upsetting your neighbors by selling it to different people at different prices].
If you're planning to do it online, you'll need to post some Qs about that here separately. And create a PayPal account to receive payments.
Have a look at the 'Resources' tab on the link below. You might find some useful tips there. All the best with your venture.!
As you can envision, there are many approaches to do this, and they all rely on upon how much cash, time, or quality you hope to be locked in to find your solution. It additionally relies on upon your item, and what you mean by "request." Do you mean what amount of cash purchasers will spend? What rate of the market would state they're "intrigued" in you?
I'll begin by saying the strategies to explicitly accumulate the information are fluctuated too, yet it's by and large a smart thought to ensure the members aren't mindful of what information you're truly after, to minimize predisposition. I believe it's likewise critical to gage their attention to the item or administration in the first place, in accordance with their enthusiasm for it.
You ought to likewise attempt to randomize the study's parameters and inquiries, so you aren't presenting a Cognitive Bias. Likewise attempt to direct it over numerous members with loads of segmentable qualities, so you can without much of a stretch answer the unavoidable follow up inquiries to your reply of "yes, there is request."
At the high end of this Quality-Money-Time range, you can:
1.) Draw in a think-tank to encourage and provide details regarding an exhaustive subjective and quantitative study including a large number of members, approaching basic inquiries to take into consideration reliable, aggregatable reactions.
2.) Arrange a system of reviews to be led on locales that offer the item or administration, and lead subjective concentration gatherings to rank their enthusiasm for the administration.
At the low end, you can:
1.) Hit the avenues of your topographical focuses with a clipboard and attempt to accumulate a few information yourself.
2.) Mortar a connection to a free Google shape with some overview inquiries in the greatest number of spots as you can discover.
Attempt to gather premium in view of social notices (seek these destinations) and internet searcher questions, a procedure driving many securities exchange choices today.
Not knowing the vast majority of the points of interest expected to give a particular reply, the best value for your money may be something like a Google Consumer Survey, which is an altogether self-benefit stage that submits to a (maybe to some degree faulty) board of willing respondents. In spite of the fact that probably not going to be very precise, it is factually critical, so this will give you some better than average course, and you can even timetable it to be directed on a repeating premise to gauge your advance.
I measure demand by measuring prior demand and trends. A good linear regression model can project future demand with rather good accuracy. Know your market, your customers and top selling items.
What I do is check the demand on Google trends, check Amazon best sellers list, Aliexpress best sellers list and cross-check the demand with Google trends.