Have you clearly identified the difference between your industry and your market?  So many of us use these words interchangeably and they are not the same. Your industry is the companies and products that you compete against.  It’s the segment of products that do what you do. 

A market, on the other hand, is your potential customer base.  It’s all the people who might buy what you make or sell. 

When someone asks “what market are you in,” however, they are not really asking about your customers are they?  Typically, they are asking you to tell them what you do and most of us will couch that in terms of the industry that we sell to.  We will, for instance, say we build cars or we sell software.  Few, if any of us, would answer a question like that with a description of the type of people that buy what we produce. 

Moving beyond the question that most people think is being asked, let’s talk about what market you are actually in.  When you look at the entire pool of companies, entities or people that would purchase products like the ones that you make, how big and healthy is it? 

Are there a lot of possible customers? 

How much is the average sale for a product or service like yours?  Does that make a good margin, given a well-run business provides it?

How many of these deals closes every month or year?

Diving deeper, consider if the numbers above or answers are growing or shrinking over this time last month or last year. 

You want to use data here.  Ask any entrepreneur how their market looks and they will always see the optimistic side.  There are always more opportunities, more deals, more targets and more money to be had.  However, challenge yourself to go a little deeper and look for some real data here. 

There’s a lot more to the market dynamics to consider and we’ll dive a little further tomorrow. 


In 2020, we are rolling out meaningful tools for manufacturers that are affordable, on-target and competitive.  We are also expanding our educational offerings.      

We believe in the critical importance of manufacturing right here in North America and we work hard to keep you working.  Ask us questions; you will find that we are far more reachable than other software providers you may partner with.  We are here to help you find the right tools and use them, whether it's a Google doc, an Excel sheet or a Production Control system.  To learn more about meeting your targets for 2020 or just getting a question answered, visit us at www.cimx.com.