Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Market Research Weekend

Following up on the olde entrepreneurial posts that I've written, especially on the new year's resolution that some business should be up and running this year, me and a biz partner went out for market research during the weekend. Ended up meeting old friends pun ada.

Anyway, without too much hints on the business idea,... yet,... our first step was actually driving around the Klang Valley to look for that market we're looking for. In other words, Location of Market. No, not the wet market, but market as in the people who would be our clients, where to they reside, where can we find most of them and all that lar. Interestingly enough, we noticed some trends in commercial areas.

Older commercial areas, will nearly always 'die' to newer commercial areas unless that older ones already have a strong 'base' such as Bangsar. Cannot talk about Hartamas coz' it's considered quite new but Bangsar is such an oldie that's doing very well. Simply put, we actually even drove to Taman Melawati where in the 1980s business was booming quite well there. This time, it was rather dead. Only about 30% of the entire commercial area is in operation, however, the newer Taman Permata where the huge Giant complex is, business is thriving. Pity the former.

We checked PJ and new townships as well. New townships are always a risk. We have fresh community who we have no idea how they're like. However, by the looks of other shops and the kind of people who crowd at the place, we can guess what kind of people come to these areas. PJ, such that of SS2 is always full of people, the best place and one of the most expensive places to start a business. We're talking quantity here, of course we can say the best place is Bangsar or Hartamas, but look at what industry you wanna venture in lah. Like us, opening a shoe shine stall, of course cannot consider Bangsar or Hartamas lah. Eh wait, did I say shoe shine?! Eh, no lar. Not that business, though it is an entrepreneurial business. Is it entrepreneural or rial??

One other thing noticed is the different crowd at different hours of the day. In the morning, one area would have older folks walking keeping fit while at the same time in another area, you see children all biking around. In the afternoon, some area are darn noisy with cars in the workshops revving and revving and revving, sometimes u feel like u just wanna hit a gong beside the driver's ear, while at other areas it's soooo quiet you think no one is around, and we're talking commercial district here! Nights are fun. Some areas are dark by 10pm while others have a good night life. Also, differences in areas, one area malays only... other areas are a balanced mix of people in one mamak shop. Nice to be in Malaysia.

We also notice there are two types of ways to enter the commercial retail industry. One is to join the crowd. Oh, there got 3 already open mah, we open one more lor. The other one is to be the pioneer. Eh, let's create a market here. See there, everyone walking with selipar and kasut koyak-koyak, we'll start the first shop here then. Both are risky, but seriously, it's more fun being the pioneer in terms of strategical thinking and planning on how to attract customers without paying umbrella girls to hold umbrella bearing our logo.

Whatever it is, location has been analysed and determined over a week period. Eh, not really, it's been 3-4 months of choosing locations and narrowing them down. Now on to costing....

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