The available market for any particular good or service is the number of buyers who are both willing and able to purchase the products offered for sale. Generally, this share of the population are those who have some degree of interest in the products offered, and also have the financial resources to purchase those products when and as they are produced and released for sale. Companies often take the time to consider the available market when projecting potential sales over a specified period of time, although narrowing the scope of the marketplace more succinctly is often the next logical step in the process.
As it relates to evaluating the potential of the marketplace, the available market is only one step in concentrating sales and marketing efforts to reach customers who ultimately will buy the goods and services offered. Generally, a potential market is made of up consumers who have some interest in products, whether or not they can actually afford to buy them. An available market is that portion of the potential market that not only has the interest, but also the means to pursue that interest all the way to a sale. This market is further narrowed into what is known as the qualified available market, which is made up of consumers who have the interest and the resources to buy, and are also not restricted from buying based on local trade laws or regulations.
Using this gradual progression to reach the qualified available market is very important if a business is to create sales and marketing schemes with a higher potential of earning revenue. By focusing more on consumers who have the interest and the resources to make purchases, and then further defining that market in terms of the legal ability to make those purchases, businesses find it easier to select a targeted main market as well as niche markets that are more likely to bring about significant sales and produce profits for the company. This type of market evaluation can be used by companies of any size, ranging from local mom and pop establishments to multinational corporations.
Understanding the available market does entail having a working knowledge of the products themselves and assessing their general appeal to consumers. As a good starting place for finding the right customers, this approach helps to save time and money not only with designing marketing campaigns but also in identifying retail outlets in which the products can be sold and reach those consumers who are likely to be attracted and can afford to buy them. Depending on the nature of the product involved, the available market may be very broad and require a great deal of refining, or somewhat narrow from the beginning, making the process of further narrowing the scope to a target market that much easier.