add dormers to ranch homes power home remodeling master remodelers lakewood split level house additions beach park building onto a ranch house .. Chicago Drug testing

A Rough Cut on Feasibility

A piano tuner recently moved to Buffalo, NY, and would like to assess the business possibilities for him in his new home. He plans to estimate how many piano tuners the greater Buffalo area can support, and compare that to the number listed in the phone book. How do we advise him as to how to estimate the "right" number of tuners for the area?

One approach is simply to guess. Would it be 1, 10, 50, or 100? Are you comfortable with this approach? I am not. An approach I would be comfortable with would be to search for data on estimates of how many piano tuners per capita there are in the U.S., and apply that ratio to the Buffalo area population (let's use 1.3 million). Is data on this likely to be available? Test your resourcefulness by trying to find it.

Assuming that data is not available, we must go to the "some assembly required" approach to estimating, that is, deriving the estimate from data which is available modified by related local and national data, norms, and "rules of thumb." While this seems so indirect as to be little better than just guessing, it can be a very useful exercise. If nothing else, it causes us to identify some important variables and how they relate to our business of interest. The inaccuracies of compounding estimates can be minimized by working in ranges to give us a "ballpark" figure.

How can I derive a meaningful estimate from generally available information? It would be interesting to know what percentage of American households own a piano, and how often they get it tuned. If the data is national, we may need to apply some local adjustment factor. Given the annual number of piano tunings, we can divide by the annual capacity of a tuner to determine how many are needed.

I will do an "off-the-top-of-my-head" calculation to illustrate the method, then leave it to you to provide real values:

Buffalo has about 400,000 households population divided by 3 members average); 8% of American households own pianos. I can think of no reason to apply any local adjustment to this figure, so we are talking about roughly 32,000 pianos. My guess is that two-thirds of all pianos are merely furniture, so that the remainder of about 11,000 are played regularly and in need of tuning. Tuners recommend that a piano be serviced twice a year, but my guess is that the average is probably once a year for active pianos, or 11,000 tunings per year.

A tuner can service 2 to 4 pianos a day; let us say 3 per day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, or 750 tunings per year per tuner. To provide Buffalo's 11,000 annual tunings would require almost 15 tuners. The phone book lists 9. Sounds promising!

How do you like this? How many would you have guessed without this analysis? Does the result seem reasonable? Enough on which to base the opening of a business?

Could it have been done more scientifically? How? Would discussions with piano tuners and music stores have been useful? Are there any journals worth consulting? Would a survey have helped?

Are pianos in places other than homes? Are there tuners not listed in the yellow pages?

The Census of Retail Trade provides the average number of stores per capita for a variety of retail outlets. Based on their data, we can determine how well our proposed market area is served on a relative basis for the type of business we plan to start. For example, there is, on average, a stationery store for every 33,000 people; for every 26,000 people there is one bookstore and one nursery and garden supply store. The population can presumably support a barber shop for every 2,200 residents, and a furniture store for every 3,000.

John B. Vinturella, Ph.D. has almost 40 years experience as a management and strategic consultant, entrepreneur, author, and college professor. For 20 of those years, Dr. Vinturella was owner/president of a distribution company that he founded. He is a principal in business opportunity sites jbv.com and muddledconcept.com, and maintains business and political blogs.

In The News:

Akron OH; A great place to do business

When looking at Akron carefully one cannot help but notice... Read More

The Six Sigma Method and Design of Experiments

Six Sigma is becoming a proven approach for businesses and... Read More

10 Critical Facts to Put On the Cover of Your Business Plan...

In most business plans, no matter how striking the idea,... Read More

Sony?s PSI Project

In 1989, Sony founded its Institute of Wisdom at the... Read More

Under Construction During the Storm ? A Hurricane Guide for Businesses that are Under Construction

As a business owner, you've likely created a hurricane plan... Read More

Expanding your business in a franchise system

If you are a successful franchise of a large franchise... Read More

Why You Need a Business Planning System NOT a Business Plan

When someone mentions business planning we have been conditioned to... Read More

Pressure Washing Entrepreneurs Can Help With Government NPDES Permits

If you own a pressure washing business one of the... Read More

SWOT Analysis

If you've ever listened to Warren Buffett talk about investing,... Read More

To Go or No Go, That Is The Question

Last week we talked about a few of the ways... Read More

How to Write a Business Plan Market Analysis

Writing a business plan is an essential part of the... Read More

Break-Even Analysis

A significant advantage of some business ideas is that the... Read More

Troubled Waters Require Capable Leaders at the Helm

Canada's lean leaders need to look beyond the horizon and... Read More

The Power of Planning

I am surprised how few sales professionals, independent consultants, and... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains in Aerospace & Defense industries ? implementation & customization highlights

Microsoft Great Plains fits horizontal markets clientele and in case... Read More

Designing an Efficient Distribution System

Let us look at a few of the big distribution... Read More

The Accountability/Alignment Process: Three Steps to an Accountable Organization

The Accountability/Alignment Process: Three Steps to an Accountable Organization Generating... Read More

Why Six Sigma Will Work in Healthcare

If ever there were an industry where we want zero... Read More

Titanic Precautions

Many movies have been made about the tragic story of... Read More

Vision Getting Dim?

A recent conversation started with a typical question, "How's business?"... Read More

Home Improvement Construction Project Planning

The first task before hiring a contractor for home remodeling... Read More

Are You Aware of Planning in Business?

Human beings are rational agents. Rationality endorses one to take... Read More

Could You Be Setting Your Business Plan Up For Failure?

David E. Gumpert, author of Burn Your Business Plan, often... Read More

5 Strategies That Will Boost Your Business Productivity Today! - Part 1

Building a dynamic small business is a constantly evolving, increasingly... Read More

Will and Vision

Remember Chux? The disposable diaper that took the market by... Read More

street lights manufacturers benefits of led lights Pete's produce ..
street lights manufacturers benefits of led lights Pete's produce ..