Knowing well the people is the first big step to decide, if a business idea can succeed and most important how can this business idea succeed in a particular place.
On 2009 I create a small business in Hong Kong with skin care and woman beauty cosmetic products (Me Shop). It was a small shop with different kind of beauty products from Japan, S.Korea and Taiwan.
One day suddenly one particular product was having a high ingress of demand. Starting from 10 am when the shop open until 10pm on closing time, ladies was coming and asking for that product. Closing the shop that late, and enough tired I went to the MTR station to get home by train. There I saw everywhere, in the station and inside the train, advertising material from that, high demanded, for that, day product.
I learn through how effective could advertising be in a Hong Kong for female customers. I delay some to find this out, in the next days, I arrive through good pointed advertising in facebook and google to get out some of my in stock products, I would be must happier if I knew it from the beginning.
One of my first business moves overseas where used car trading in Albania. As well without knowing what exactly do an Albanian consumer ask when buying a car. I used to bring used cars in Albania that I like, and I would like to drive. My young age enthusiasm after the first successful sales drive me to start bringing cars that nobody could buy in Albania just because I liked them or I sow many people driving them in other places.
When I was still a school boy I used to work some times on some coffee shops to get some extra money. When I finish school I got a job and saving enough money I got my own coffee shop. A very small shop in Greece in an unknown neighborhood. I didn't know the people around and most important I didn't learn them, this shop succeed only after I understood what exactly do my customers want, but this took a couple of weeks or moths with very modest income.
I couldn't get away products staying in stock back in Hong Kong without investing some money on advertising, advertising is so supportive for local Hong Kong business. I did not made money by trading used cars in Albania because I didn't know my customer's needs, but I arrive to make some good money with my translation office in that place after understanding how much do Albanians translations need. My coffee shop in Greece, couldn't succeed because I didn't know my customers, I used to make coffee in Germany where people request a high quality, in a poor neighborhood in Greece the people want just a strong coffee without caring if your coffee beans are Arabica or Robusto! So I spend too much money for a good quality coffee but lowing down the quality gave much better results!