Pre-Week 1: Picking a market

Last minute learning

There is so much new stuff to learn. Learning is addictive and you’ve only got so much time and energy for it. So it’s important to channel your learning into the right direction. Take some preparation time to ask yourself: what’s my most important next step right now, and what do I want to learn about it? Then make sure whatever you do will get you there. Be drastic about it.

Pick the market that helps YOU grow

Step one was to pick a market. I wasn’t sure about picking a market in the US or UK or in my home country The Netherlands. With only 17 million people, the markets here are a lot smaller, which might seriously decrease my chances of success. But I expect the obvious advantage of language and culture to help me get started though. And because it would be pretty stupid to disqualify the Dutch market for business as a whole. There is plenty of business here. So because for now it’s all about learning the skills of Idea Extraction and pushing outside of my comfort zone, a Dutch market is going to be perfect.

Comparing growing and shrinking markets

I did not really care about the market itself. It doesn’t really matter because I believe there are problems in any market, growing or shrinking. Picking a growing market over a shrinking one will of course increase my chances of success later on. But spending too much time on market selection will only postpone my growth in cold calling. So I decided quickly.

My bank ABN AMRO is publishing sector growth reports on markets in The Netherlands. Useful as inspiration, and with a quick glance it allows you to pre-select a market that is at least growing. Once again, the idea was not to do market research, but to have a tiny little bit of backup on my selected market.

Based on a few criteria and quotes I selected the Security Installation market:

  • Moderate increase of revenue (there is money)
  • Revenue is under pressure by competition (companies are looking to outsmart their competition?)
  • Revenue per employee is shrinking (efficiency needed here!)

So Security Installation are the guys installing alarms and security camera’s. Sounds not too complicated, but we’ll see what it really is about.