Before embarking on starting a soldering iron business, it is important to understand who your customers are and whether or not the current customer base has potential to grow. This will help you judge the overall viability of your proposed business. Let us look at some of the probable clients you are likely to serve.
Most soldering work is carried out on household electronic appliances. This implies that most of your clients will have soldering needs associated with the common day to day electronics used in the house. Does this market have potential for growth? Well, electronics will continue to be purchased so even if growth prospects are not very high, the market is very stable. It is therefore important for you and your workforce to familiarize yourself with these appliances and be updated on current market developments.
These include students in the art and craft departments, music and computing. As part of their courses, these students require soldering equipments and at times external knowhow regarding the basics of soldering. These may represent a relatively small portion of your market but will also be significant contributors.
Hobbyists and enthusiasts
This market will include everyone who solders for leisure or as part of their hobbies and daily endeavors. These include hackers, artists, and developers and so on. Depending on the characteristics of your target market, these may form a small but very consistent portion of the market. However, they are also the hardest people to win over from competing firms due to the loyalty they have with their current stores.
Your potential market is not limited to the above-mentioned segments alone. However, they do form the largest portions of your market. There will be other customers who may not fall under the above classification but who will also contribute to your sales revenue.
All business ventures face a certain level of competition. Well, unless you have the privilege of operating in a monopoly market of course. Now that you want to start a soldering business, it is important to ask yourself who your competitors are going to be, how strong are they and how likely they are to increase within a certain period. This will help you gauge the viability of the venture you wish to start and come up with strategies to counter competition. Your largest competitors will include:
Other soldering shops
Depending on the performance of the business and the number of existing soldering shops, this will probably the most direct form of competition you will encounter. However, specialty soldering shops are very few and unless they increase at a very high rate, you will probably be okay, at least for a few years.
General hardware and electronics stores
The lack of specialty soldering stores implies that most of the soldering market is usually served by general hardware and electronics shops. Unlike soldering shops however, these are quite many and well distributed and will therefore form a significant competitive force. Their size and general market reputation also implies that getting customers to switch from them to your business will take quite some marketing effort.
The online marketplace
What will be the largest source of competition? It has to be the online marketplace. This includes a wide range of e-commerce sites where buyers and sellers interact daily in the exchange of goods. The sheer convenience of purchasing soldering items from an online store will pose the largest threat to your new soldering shop unless you can find ways to match that convenience for your potential customers. Common sites include Amazon, EBay, Alibaba and many more depending on the specific product.
In a market and industry full of competing firms, a competitive edge is what will get you more revenue from the same market than your customers. Just how do you give your soldering business the edge over the competing firms we mentioned earlier? The steps you take should include measures to create product, service and business differentiation. Something for your customers to always remember. Some of these include:
- Speed of service. This includes response time, period of service and response to queries. Customers really enjoy when their needs are taken care of as quickly as possible, Becoming the most convenient soldering outlet will definitely get you customers.
- Product and service portfolio. This is basically the depth of the services and products you will offer. The larger the product and service portfolio, the larger the potential customer base and thus a clear competitive edge.
- This will depend on the pricing strategy you choose to pursue. For a new business however, it is always advisable to start on low costs and low profit margins to win customers over. This will be entirely up to you however. If you get it right, pricing can give you a huge competitive edge.
- Is your location busy? Human traffic is always very important for many successful businesses, especially the product-oriented businesses. Before starting your soldering shop, consider your location carefully as this will ultimately become an part of your success or failure.
- Customers always love a great-looking place. Take time to carefully design the look and feel of your soldering shop’s interior and if need be consult an interior designer. This will eventually get more customers to your shop.
- Customer service and assistance. The ultimate factor in gaining a sustainable edge over the competition. Always treat your customers the best way you can.