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TAM,SAM,SOM: easy Guide on how to calculate them

Richard Gödel
CTO @ meetergo
2 minutes reading time
Table of contents
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Startups that know their target market well can attract big investments, like Facebook did. It's key for new businesses to grasp their market's potential size and scope. This lets them guide their product development and appeal to investors. It also helps in predicting how long the business might last and its success.

Facebook focused on the college market early on, showing the value of knowing your TAM, SAM, and SOM. The TAM is the total potential revenue a market holds. SAM is the part of the market a company's offerings can reach. SOM is the market size a business can realistically capture.

Startups must know these figures to position themselves accurately in the market and appeal to investors. Now, let's learn how to figure out TAM, SAM, and SOM effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • TAM showcases the total revenue opportunity available if a company captures 100% market share.
  • SAM narrows down TAM to the realistic portion serviceable by a company’s offerings.
  • SOM determines the actual market share a business can expect to achieve.
  • Accurate TAM, SAM, and SOM calculations are crucial for attracting investors.
  • Using industry research, historical data, and various approaches is essential for precise market size estimations.

Introduction to Market Size Metrics: TAM, SAM, SOM Explained

Market size metrics like TAM, SAM, and SOM are key for business success. They help businesses figure out their potential market, who to sell to, and how much they might make. We will explore these concepts in more detail.

What is TAM, SAM, and SOM?

TAM means Total Addressable Market. It's the full revenue possible for a product or service. It’s found by the number of possible customers times the money each might spend in a year.

SAM, or Serviceable Addressable Market, is the part of TAM a business can reach. It considers what a company offers and how it gets its products to customers. Finally, SOM, or Serviceable Obtainable Market, marks the part of the market a business could realistically get. This is over a set timeframe.

Importance of Market Size Metrics

Market size metrics are key for creating a solid business and understanding its potential. They're essential for planning, showing growth stages, and more. Using TAM, businesses can see the full market size. SAM helps find the realistic part they can compete in. SOM gives an idea of how much of that share they can actually get. These insights are essential for investors and others to see a business's potential.

Common Uses in Business Planning

Analyzing TAM, SAM, and SOM is critical for a well-planned business strategy. These metrics are handy for many things:

  • Setting achievable revenue goals by understanding market potential
  • Finding and focusing on important customers first
  • Improving the business model to attract the most profitable segments
  • Creating focused marketing and product plans
  • Aiding in building strong funding proposals with deep market insights

Using these metrics makes a company better grasp its market and customer needs. It guides smart decision-making and planning for growth.

tam sam som formula

How to Calculate Total Addressable Market (TAM)

The Total Addressable Market (TAM) is key to knowing market size and revenue potential. It shows the total market demand if a company had all the market share. Various methods help figure out market size accurately, giving important insights into the full market.

Top-Down Approach

The Top-Down Approach checks industry data and market reports to set a TAM. By looking at outside sources, companies can get a fast guess at how much the market might buy. It's good for markets with a lot of info. But, the number might not be right if the data is old or biased.

Bottom-Up Approach

With the Bottom-Up Approach, companies look at their own sales data and what customers spend. This way gives a more exact view of the market size a business can target. It starts with real sales numbers and expands to the whole market.

Value Theory Approach

The Value Theory Approach looks at what people would pay based on a product's value. It's great for new, unique products like advanced medical software. Knowing what customers value helps companies guess a more real TAM.

Using a mix of the Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and Value Theory methods is smart. It lets businesses understand the true market size. Knowing this helps companies plan how to get into the market and make more money. They can aim for the best share of the market this way.

Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM): Definition and Calculation

Once businesses know their Total Addressable Market (TAM), they focus on SAM. SAM shows the part of the market a company can actually reach. It's important for making realistic plans and seeing market potential clearly.

Realistic Assessment of SAM

To find SAM, businesses follow the Bottom-Up Approach like they did for TAM. This way looks at how many customers a company could really reach. Take a fast food market, for instance. SAM is determined by looking at where the restaurants are and what people like to eat.

Companies must also check out their competition and any limits they have, like how far they can deliver. For example, a healthcare software firm might prefer private over public clients. This lets them focus their efforts on a smaller part of the market. Doing so helps reach potential customers more effectively.

Continuing from TAM to SAM

Figuring out SAM is the next step after TAM. It breaks down the market more to find a reachable group. It helps to know how many customers a company could have and how much they might spend.

Think about the fast food market again. Businesses figure out SAM by seeing how many people they could serve and how much each might spend. This gives a more real view of the reachable market. It guides smart choices on where to put resources and how to enter the market.

Working out SAM and SOM well helps companies grow their market share. It also makes their business more appealing to investors. Knowing TAM, SAM, and SOM together helps companies make smarter and more lasting market moves.

Calculating Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)

It's key for companies to grasp the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) for setting achievable revenue goals. To calculate SOM, companies must consider the market share they hope to get within the Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM). This involves studying past data, current market trends, and their unique selling points.

Estimating Market Share

Before aiming for their SOM, companies should first work on estimating market share. They look at their past performance to see what's possible now. For instance, if they had a 10% market share last year, they might set that as their goal. This method accounts for growth or changes in the market. It guides them in setting revenue goals and understanding their current market share.

Determining SOM Based on Market Dynamics

For a precise SOM calculation, understanding market dynamics is vital. Companies should look at the playing field, where the market is heading, and entry barriers. Knowing these aspects helps in tweaking their business plans for better outcomes. It's about spotting chances for growth and the areas that need work or fresh ideas.

A detailed SOM calculation paints a clear picture of the market's potential for each company. This info is gold for making strategic plans and attracting investors. Knowing the SOM helps a company see what it can achieve and adapt to the changing market effectively.

tam sam som in real life

TAM, SAM, SOM: Application to Real-World Business Scenarios

Knowing how to use TAM, SAM, and SOM is key in finding market chances and planning strategies. We'll look closely at the software industry to see how these metrics work.

Case Study: Software Industry

The software world teaches us about TAM, the full market potential. Take a SaaS business focusing on project management. It would check how many tech-based big and medium businesses there are worldwide. This tells the SaaS what its full market size could be.

Estimations and Hypothetical Scenarios

For real market chances, companies must study their local and target areas well. A healthcare software company might find its SAM by looking at healthcare places in a city like Toronto. This leads to finding its potential SOM, showing how much it could actually sell.

Let's use a SaaS startup as an example. Its SAM might be C$100 million, leading to an attainable SOM of C$10 million in the first year. These examples show what's possible and how to aim for a bigger market share step by step.

Looking at market data reveals how TAM, SAM, and SOM work. Imagine data from the soft drinks market. Showing a big TAM and a smaller SAM helps understand these metrics. For example, if Peter's Pop Co. aims for a 2% share, it could make C$78 million in sales. This shows the power of careful market planning.

Using TAM, SAM, and SOM helps businesses focus their strategies. This could be for any market, from smartphones to local fast-food chains. These metrics are vital for entering a market effectively.

SOM Example

To illustrate how to calculate the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) for a new fast food restaurant, let's focus on a specific example. Suppose your fast food restaurant is located in a city with a population of 1 million people, and your local market, within a 10-mile radius, includes 200,000 potential customers. Based on your current business model and competitive analysis, you estimate that your restaurant can capture 5% of this local market. To calculate your SOM, you first determine that the average revenue per customer per year is $200.

Multiplying 200,000 potential customers by $200 gives a Serviceable Available Market (SAM) of $40 million. Taking 5% of this SAM results in a SOM of $2 million. This means your fast food restaurant can realistically aim to generate $2 million in revenue annually from the local market, given your ability to reach and serve these customers. This calculation helps you set realistic financial goals and assess your market opportunities more accurately.


What is TAM, SAM, and SOM?

TAM stands for Total Addressable Market, SAM stands for Serviceable Available Market, and SOM stands for Serviceable Obtainable Market. These are metrics used to determine the market potential and opportunities for a business.

How do you calculate TAM?

To calculate TAM, you have to consider the total market demand for a product or service. It involves estimating the revenue potential if the business were to capture 100% of the market share.

Why is SOM important in your business plan?

SOM is important in your business plan because it represents the portion of the market that you can realistically capture based on your specific business model, resources, and strategy.

Can you provide an example of TAM, SAM, and SOM calculations?

Sure, let's say the total market size for a specific product is 1,000,000 customers (TAM), the number of customers within your reach is 300,000 (SAM), and the number of customers you actually expect to acquire is 100,000 (SOM).

How can you maximize SOM for your business?

You can maximize SOM for your business by implementing effective marketing and sales strategies, targeting the right market segment, and continuously analyzing and adapting based on market feedback.

Whats a TAM, SAM, SOM Template?

A TAM, SAM, SOM template helps you outline and calculate market sizes in your business plan:

  1. TAM (Total Available Market): Estimate the entire market size by calculating the number of potential customers and the average revenue per customer. TAM represents the maximum market demand for your product.
  2. SAM (Serviceable Available Market): Identify the portion of TAM your business can target, focusing on specific market segments. For instance, in the fast food restaurant market, SAM would be the local customers your restaurant can serve.
  3. SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market): Determine the share of SAM your business can realistically capture. SOM is the portion of SAM reflecting your achievable market share based on your current capabilities.

This template helps visualize market opportunities and set realistic goals for your business.

When is using TAM useful?

Understanding TAM is particularly useful when assessing the potential share of market your business can realistically attain. TAM, calculated by estimating the entire market size based on the number of customers and average revenue per customer, provides a foundation for determining your target market segment. SAM, or the portion of TAM your business can realistically serve, further refines this analysis, helping identify the specific segments of the market your business can effectively reach.

By considering SAM and SOM (the portion of SAM your business can capture), you gain insight into the accurate market size and your ability to reach your SOM. This understanding of TAM and SAM enables you to assess market opportunities, allocate resources effectively, and set achievable business goals within a given market.

Why is accurate market analysis essential for determining market size?

Accurate market analysis is crucial for determining market size because it helps in identifying market trends, competitors, customer segments, and potential revenue opportunities, which are key factors in defining the TAM, SAM, and SOM.

What is the significance of including TAM, SAM, and SOM in your business strategy?

Including TAM, SAM, and SOM in your business strategy helps in setting realistic goals, identifying growth opportunities, allocating resources efficiently, and creating a targeted approach for market penetration and expansion.

How to include TAM, SAM, SOM in your Business Plan?

To include TAM, SAM, and SOM in your business plan:

  1. Calculate TAM: Determine the entire market size by estimating the number of potential customers and multiplying by the average revenue per customer. TAM represents the global market demand for your product.
  2. Calculate SAM: Identify the portion of TAM that your business can target, focusing on specific market segments. For example, in the fast food restaurant market, SAM is the local market segment your restaurant can serve.
  3. Calculate SOM: Estimate the share of SAM your business can realistically capture based on your current capabilities. SOM is the portion of SAM that reflects your achievable market share.

Using a TAM, SAM, SOM template helps set realistic goals and understand your market opportunities.


Learning about TAM, SAM, and SOM is key for new companies. It helps them find their way in the market. By knowing the number of customers they can target, they set achievable financial goals. For example, if the team plans to reach a $40 billion market with smartwatches or a $1.2 billion market with educational software, they can. These targets help companies focus their efforts.

TAM, SAM, and SOM are crucial for company plans and growth. They help predict how much a company can grow in a market. Look at the biotech example where they saw a huge global diabetes market, then picked a $30 billion U.S. and Europe market. This made their focus clearer. The fitness app example also shows how to aim for a specific market share to plan growth.

These metrics are more than just data. They are guides for choosing how to spend money, plan for growth, and stand out from the competition. By using TAM, SAM, and SOM, companies wisely use their resources. This means they can market and sell more effectively. Making informed choices through market research and these metrics helps businesses improve their products and do well in their markets.

Imagine Calendly + Typeform had a Baby
Your New Secret Weapon is Here!

See the Magic ✨

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