What Fraction of the Pie Will be Yours?

Yes there may be a market and a considerable number of customers who are willing to pay for certain products and services. Is the existence of the market a good enough reason to make the investment?

This is a quote from The Times story on entrepreneurs who started small businesses like coffee shop. One of them, Ms. Adler, who runs a bakery said,

More people may be on a tighter budget these days, but if you need your daily caffeine fix, you probably won’t give this up

Ms. Adler may be right. Economy or not there will a group of customers who need their daily caffeine fix and are willing to pay for it.  But, how many of those customers will choose your stores, how often and why? If you see the opportunity, how many others also see it?

The size of the pie may be big, assuming the pie exists, but what will you get to own for yourself?