Market Size

You cannot sell programs to more customers than there actually are.

So first define the market at which you are aiming. It is estimated that as few as one percent of the bombs dropped in World War II actually hit their target. It is only recently, in the Iraq War, that this problem has been solved. You, too, need to define your target market with similar precision.

When you have done so, go down to your public library and consult the professional directories. If, for instance, you are writing a program for Houston lawyers specializing in intellectual property, you might narrow them down with the categories of information displayed in Table 13-1.

Table 13-1

Target Research on Houston Attorneys

Category

Number of People

Percentage

Population of the United States

282,798,000

100.0000

Working population

115,061,184

40.6867

Total number of practicing attorneys

1,058,662

0.3743

Attorneys practicing in Texas

64,593

0.0228

Attorneys practicing in Houston

>5,000

0.0018

Attorneys in Houston specializing in intellectual property

399

0.0001

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau/American Bar Association/www.martindale.com

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau/American Bar Association/www.martindale.com

If there are too few customers to repay the costs you know will be incurred, either abandon your project, gather the necessary quorum from other countries, or redefine your target on a broader base and adapt your program.

For example, you might add features that will enable your product to match some standard educational syllabus. This would immediately enable you to sell to academic as well as lay users.

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