You possibly have heard about market gaps at least once. Usually, it is about how finding gaps in the market helps you identify business ideas. The interesting is that gaps in the market are always there no matter what. A market gap or gap in the market is an inadequacy or lack of products or services that address certain people’s needs. Covering that gap constitutes a business idea and that is why market gaps are important. Most people who start businesses or startups will usually tell you they saw a gap in the market. How do you find gaps in the market though?

Looking At Your Skillset And Experience

This is the best starting point in seeking to identify market gaps. What is currently lacking or inadequate in the market can be due to skillsets and experience. Maybe there just is not anyone with the right skillset or experience to fill that void. When you wield specific knowledge and expertise you begin to perceive the world around you differently. What you know and can do informs how you take in your operating environment. Let us suppose someone has Food Sciences expertise. They can realize specific market gaps that someone without that expertise might not. Glytime Foods is an example of a business that came to be that way. One’s expertise and experience makes the gaps apparent especially because one can fill them.

Doing Research – Engaging Existing And Prospective Customers

The best way to understand market needs is by asking the people. These people know what they want and whether or not it is catered for. If you are already running an enterprise then you are a step ahead. You can conduct surveys to find out from your existing customers. Your survey would also have to include prospective customers. These surveys should also be accompanied by closely industry trends. Thorough desk research can unearth lots of vital information in this regard.

I am part of a Facebook group called Harare Restaurants Review. Just by closely following all the posts I have noted quite a several gaps in the market. Imagine what you can find by combing through various websites and social media platforms. The whole idea here is to get as much information as possible from the people. Diligent customer-centric research will provide invaluable bases to identify gaps in the market.

Thinking In Terms Of Niches

Recently did an article on whether or not to niche or be broad when starting a new business. When thinking broadly the tendency is to consider what is currently being done by others. For example, you can think of FMCG such as food items. You can simply focus on sourcing and selling an assortment of commonly bought food items. If you are too niche you will have to become more specific by catering to a particular need. I gave the example of Glytime Foods so let me use it again.

Glytime Foods came to be to provide what are termed health foods. These are foods that are considered to be especially beneficial to health. Health foods are much more specialized and specific than just general FMCG food items. This means by thinking of possible niche markets, the founder of Glytime Foods realized a gap in the market. That gap in the market pertained to healthy foods. These are foods that would appeal to health-conscious people. You look at a broad market and start thinking of possible specializations; you will begin to notice some gaps.

Looking For Outstanding Problems

As much as people try to address problems, many remain unaddressed. It is even possible that by addressing some, other problems emerge. Thus at any given point in time, there will always be great problems. Your job is to find out which of them are still outstanding. A good starting point can be things that bother you. We all have certain pain points that we always lament. Right now almost all of us are complaining about network problems. Most of us often complain about lengthy checkout processes in supermarkets. Again there is the issue of generally poor service in the retail and hospitality industry, for example. These are all examples of outstanding problems that indicate gaps in the market.

Analysing Regulatory And Legislative Changes

In Zimbabwe, this is a norm as can be evidenced by the countless statutory instruments (SIs) now in existence. At times these changes can be detrimental to businesses as is usually the case. However, they also create gaps in the market that you can leverage on. That is why it is important to keep abreast with regulatory and legislative changes in Zimbabwe. I have noticed that if you analyse them you will usually find some market gaps to consider.

If you try out these 5 ways, from time to time, you will realize some gaps in the market. In running a startup or business, do not get to a point of arriving. Do not get too comfortable, even if everything is going well for you. Always be looking for gaps in the market; they are always there!