It's the people you might someday reach, or people you could reach, that you need to be concerned about.For example, the market of a local movie theater or restaurant includes not just the people who regularly go there but everybody who lives within driving distance.The market for personal computers includes homes, schools, businesses, and government organizations.
The market for a landscaping business includes all the homes and commercial properties within a logical reach.
The market for downloadable e-books over the internet includes everyone connected to the web.
Not all the information you need is going to be publicly available, and you may have to settle for educated estimates.
Sometimes you'll have to extrapolate information from different sources to get the information you're seeking.
For years, I consulted with a computer manufacturing company that targeted such market segments as homes, small offices, businesses, educational organizations, and government.
Dividing the market into these segments helped the company address the more specific market needs, media, pricing patterns and decision criteria in each of their different market segments.When it comes to market growth, you need to think about percentage change as a market forecast.Is the number of homeowners in your target market increasing or decreasing? How many older workers retire every year, and how is this changing?How many people eat in restaurants in your market area, and how is this behavior changing?Market forecasts start with the total numbers of possible purchasers in each market segment, then project percentage change over the next three to five years.The market you need to look at is your potential market, not the actual market served, the one that's limited to your existing customers.Your target market is much wider than just the people you already reach.Every business plan should include market analysis.This is one of the first and most important reasons to do a business plan.Or you might be able to find your market information at https://gov/business , which is a good source for information from the U. Census Bureau, the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce and others.You might also need to find other government statistics, or other commercial statistics, so you may be conducting some internet searches to track down the information.