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A business plan

By David, 30 July 2013 Activity

Have you ever wanted to open your own shop? Try this market research activity to find out if you could make a living selling things that you love!

Three soft serve ice cream cones.

What kind of store would you open?
Image: Wikimedia commons/Adam Podstawczynski

What to do

  1. Think about your local shops – if you were to open a shop, what would it be called? What would you sell?
  2. Think about the things you would sell – who do you think might buy those things? Can you describe some potential customers?
  3. Write down the different types of people who might come to your store. For example, an ice cream store has many different customers:
  • Families with primary school kids
  • Kids hanging out with their friends
  • Teens going on dates
  1. Put age ranges on each of these groups, and estimate how many times they might visit the store in a month.
    A screenshot of the ABS QuickStats webpage.

    Look up Census data for your postcode on the ABS website.

  2. Estimate how much money they might spend each time they visit the store.
  3. Go to the ABS Census website, and pull up population figures for your postcode. Use these figures to estimate how many people in your postcode fit into each of your customer groups. For example, you might estimate that 10% of families go out for ice cream once a month, so if there are 2000 families, then 200 would come to your store each month.
  4. For each customer group, multiply the number of people, the number of visits in a month, and the money they spend each visit. This will give you an estimate of how much all those customers might spend over a month. Add up all the different groups of customers to give a grand total.
    1385 people aged 10-14 50% of 1385 = 692 customers per month 692 x $5 = $3460 per month

    Calculate how much money you would make from different groups of people every month.

  5. As a rough figure, you need $1000 a day to keep your store running. Does your idea look like it might work?

What’s happening?

Many people have dreams of creating something for their community. For some, it’s a new business, for others it’s a club, festival, or weekly get-together. But it can be difficult to make your dream happen – you know you have a good idea, but will it work? Doing this statistical research on potential customers is known as ‘market research’.

The ABS provides free, timely, accurate and objective statistics under themes such as economy, environment and energy, people and regional. You will need to pose questions in order to find and use the data, like those in this activity. This will help you get the information you need to make informed decisions. You might not know if it will work until you try it, but you can use statistics to make a good guess!

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