#Immediacy on speech making

If you have been running your business for any length of time, ...

If you have been running your business for any length of time, you have probably developed a fairly good qualitative 'feel' for the market. You know the things customers like or dislike about the products or service you offer, and you have a shrewd idea how these tastes will change in the near future.

To exploit the market successfully, it is necessary to develop this 'feel' on a more quantitative basis.

To feel that demand is going to rise is not enough.

You want to know roughly how fast is it 5 per cent per annum, 10, 20, 50, 100 or what? Similarly, if it is going to drop, then at what rate? If it is going to wobble about without a clear movement either up or down, within what range will it do this? 'This is impossible,' you may exclaim. 'No one can predict exactly what is going to happen in the future'. I agree. But most successful businesses have been built by someone who was right more times than he was wrong; someone who had thought through what was most likely to happen and was prepared for it, so that he was ready to take advantage of it before his competitors realized what had happened.

Of course luck comes into it too but luck tends to come to the person who is looking for it and is ready to make the most of it. You are not trying to guess exactly what will happen. You are simply trying to guess more accurately than your competitors. There are usually various factors affecting future demand, some of which may be positive and some negative.

Unless one has a rough idea of the quantitative effect of each, it is not possible to work out whether the overall balance will result in an increase or decrease. At the beginning of this section, we pointed out that the first step in estimating demand is often to spot the link between your market and something for which statistics are readily available.

Since this is often one of the factors influencing your market demand, a study of this is likely to throw some light on what is likely to happen in your market in the near future. Population trends Many products are linked to people and many services are carried out for people. It is not surprising, therefore, that one of the most common factors to influence demand is population, either in total or a particular segment, defined by age or sex. Fortunately, forecasts of future population trends are readily available, since population projections are prepared each year by the Government Actuary, m consultation with the three Registrars.

These are published in summary form each year in the Annual Abstract of Statistics and in Social Trends.

Any projection is very dependent upon the assumptions on which it is ...

Any projection is very dependent upon the assumptions on which it is based, and sometimes a range of projections may be explored by trying the effect of diff... read more

We say the market has reached saturation and future sales level out ...

We say the market has reached saturation and future sales level out on a replacement basis, i.e. just enough to replace the ones which wear out.

The car in... read more

Which of them compete wholly or in part in your class of ...

Which of them compete wholly or in part in your class of market? Can you estimate how much of theirs turnover refers to your class of market? Insert this figure in brack