Keeping track of the details will help you better understand your target market and your capacity to serve that market. Here are a few questions to get you started:


Is there a potential (or existing) market for your product or service? What is unique about the environment you will be working in?

Some places to start your search


Who is your target customer?

Some places to start your search


Who are your competitors, and how is your product/service different from theirs?

Some places to start your search


Is your idea feasible/protectable under intellectual property law? How will you protect your idea?

Some places to start your search


How are you planning your business growth? Traditional business plan creation requires research into all aspects of your planning process. A different and more recent approach to business planning, dubbed the "lean launch" principle, focuses on a one-page planning device called the "business model canvas" and frequent customer validation.

Some places to start your search

TechGROWTH Ohio (and other Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Signature Program grantees), Ohio colleges/universities, business incubators, and small business development centers can help you think through these key strategic questions, often through free or low-cost business assistance services.

Check out these additional resources:

For even more information, download our full "Energy & Efficiency Business Startup Guide" here.

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This web resource is made possible in part with funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission under contract number: CO-16608. Note that the non-Ohio University websites referenced in these pages are meant only to provide additional information, and are not endorsed in any way by Ohio University.