By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker

Before you start your business, you need to ask: What industry are you entering, and what are its trends? Define not only the industry, but also the segment you will target. The greatest opportunity lies in industry sectors that are growing and changing.

You need to make sure you know the answers to the following questions:

  •  What is the industry (concise description)?
  •  What sector of the industry are you targeting?
  • What changes are taking place?
  • How does your product address the changes?
  • How big is the opportunity (size of target sector)?
  • Is the target sector growing (rate of growth)?
  • What trends will impact the rate of growth?

Answering these questions may take some research. But it is important to stay at a high level. You don’t want to get mired in minutia. All of your answers should be available to you through online sources, industry groups, libraries, competitors, and business owners in the same sector. 

When starting my business, corporate real estate was undergoing dramatic change, creating significant opportunity. The mantra of the day was: Do more with less. The practice of outsourcing non-core service areas was beginning to take off in all industries. Corporations were saving millions by hiring outsourced providers with specialized expertise to reduce costs, enhance productivity, and improve service to customers.

My thought was to lead the outsourcing wave as it built momentum in corporate real estate. My business would enable companies to outsource the management of their real estate portfolios and a host of related services.

Ed “Skip” McLaughlin is the author of The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, along with co-authors Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin. The Purpose Is Profit is available on and at your favorite bookstore now.

Ed McLaughlin is the founder of four businesses and is currently running Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm based in Darien, CT. Follow him at @purposeisprofit.

Copyright © 2017 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.