The Mayberry Rules: Know Your Market

In order to consistently make the best decisions regarding your business, you must have a thorough understanding of your market.

If you don’t have this knowledge you will lack the intelligence to correctly assess your situation.

Ultimately, this forces you to start guessing because you don’t have all the facts, and the facts that you do have may be skewed, or may not fully explain the situation. Perry’s Lounge threw a party the week before school started,

and it was filled with college students. Is it safe for Perry’s Lounge management to assume that college students will patronize their business weekly? From our knowledge of this market, we can analyze the situation and recognize the variables that create a demand for students to attend their club.

First we can assume that those college students in attendance were freshmen. We know that most freshmen are looking for parties during their first week before class but have limited transportation.

We know that Perry’s Lounge is in close proximity to the school. We know that freshmen are new to Tallahassee and do not have a preference for any club in particular.

I could spend the rest of this column writing about things that we know and variables that played a role in the event. I’m not saying Perry’s Lounge will not have more successful events geared toward college students, but the next time they attempt to reach this market many variables that were there the first time will be gone. Their management has to understand that.

More often than not, most people have limited knowledge about the market in which they compete. Not only does this hinder their decision-making abilities, it also forces them to miss many opportunities, namely money. Entrepreneurial talent is what helps markets grow and creates new industries, new jobs and more tax revenue.

Trust me, your market wants you to be successful so bad they are willing to personally help you. Here are some questions that can tell you a little about your knowledge of your market.

Can you name 10 people of a different race and gender in your field? Who are your top five competitors? What are the top three seminars or industry events that go on in your field? If your company reached product or service capacity, with whom would you outsource?

What events will be going on locally this week that are geared toward helping professionals or companies like yours?

If you cannot answer these questions immediately, you do not know much about your market. The good news is you can do something about it.

Start by reading the Sunday Tallahassee Democrat. They have a business calendar that tells you about all the events and networking socials which will be held in the near future.

Find a lead and referral group meeting that is convenient for you and visit it. I guarantee you will meet somebody who will help you make some money.

Get a phonebook and call 10 people in your field this week. Tell them you live in the area, like meeting people in the field and were calling to introduce yourself. Arrange a time that you all can meet.

Visit the FAMU Small Business Development Center and set up a free consultation.

And keep reading your Mayberry Rules; I guarantee you will learn something that will help you make some money.

Robert Mayberry is the President of The Entrepreneurship Club and the Chairman of Shyve Entertainment Group. He can be reached at