November 30, 1999 in SBIR/STTR News

Market research required …

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… if not available do not apply.

Many SBIR applicant companies make the assumption that good science is all that is needed to sell a proposal.  This is an erroneous assumption.  Market and commercial potential are equally as important as scientific merit.

A recent client received notice from the DoD that their proposal will not be funded due to lack of market and commercialization data.  When considering re-submission they mentioned, "I guess we’ll just make something up."  Don’t make it up, do your research.

Finding market and commercial data is research just like any other.  Dig, dig, dig and keep digging.  The internet is a good place to start, the library is also valuable.  Ask us, ask a colleague, ask a sales rep.  What questions should you ask?

  1. What is the market size? –
    For your particular product, not the entire industry!
  2. What is your per unit manufacturing cost? (ballpark figure)
  3. What is your competitors sales price per unit? (How will you compete?)
    And what is their share of the above market?

In addition you will need to profile a potential customer and explain your finance strategy (other than SBIR/STTR funds) needed to bring the product to market.

It’s not as daunting as it sounds.  You just need to do a little research … which is what your good at, right?

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