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Business Discussions | 29 October, 2023


In the ever-evolving landscape of business and entrepreneurship, understanding the intricacies of market sizing is paramount. The terms TAM SAM SOM are frequently encountered, but their meanings and implications are not always clear. If you’ve ever pondered the question, “What does TAM SAM SOM stand for?, you’re in the right place.


In this blog, we’ll simplify these important concepts and demonstrate how they are vital for shaping your business strategy. Join us as we explore TAM SAM SOM’s significance and how it can help guide your business to success.  Let’s get started!


What does TAM stand for in Business

TAM stands for Total Addressable Market. It represents the total market demand for a product or service and underscores the maximum potential revenue opportunity without any constraints.


What is SAM in Business

SAM in business is the Serviceable Available Market, a subset of TAM that focuses on the specific market segment your product or service caters to, considering factors such as demographics and geographical boundaries.


What does SOM mean in Business

SOM meaning in business stands for Serviceable Obtainable Market. SOM further refines the market scope by considering factors like competition, marketing strategies, and pricing plans, providing a realistic view of the market share achievable in the short term.


How to calculate TAM, SAM, and SOM

Understanding your market is vital for business growth, and TAM, SAM, and SOM (Total Addressable Market, Serviceable Available Market, and Serviceable Obtainable Market) are essential metrics. Let’s dive into the concise steps for calculating these crucial figures.


TAM: The Big Picture

Total Addressable Market (TAM) is your market’s entire size. Calculate it using two methods:

Top-Down: Use industry reports for market size and multiply by the average annual revenue per customer.

Bottom-Up: Collect primary data through surveys and analysis. It’s more reliable.


Examples of TAM, SAM, and SOM in Business
Example 1: E-Commerce Fashion Retailer


TAM (Total Addressable Market)

This business operates in the global e-commerce fashion market.

Top-Down Approach: According to industry reports, the global e-commerce fashion market is estimated at $600 billion annually.

Bottom-Up Approach: By conducting market research, the company finds that it can target a potential annual customer base of 10 million fashion-conscious individuals.


SAM (Serviceable Available Market)

The company focuses on selling luxury fashion items.

The estimated SAM consists of individuals with a higher income bracket.

The SAM calculation is based on an annual customer base of 1 million potential luxury fashion buyers.


SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market)

To calculate SOM, the company factors in competition, pricing, and marketing strategies.

They determine that, given their resources and strategies, they can capture 20% of the SAM.

This results in an estimated SOM of 200,000 customers annually.


Example 2: SaaS Project Management Software


TAM (Total Addressable Market)

The business operates in the global SaaS project management software market.

Top-Down Approach: Industry sources indicate the global SaaS project management software market is worth $5 billion annually.

Bottom-Up Approach: By conducting primary research, the company identifies a potential target customer base of 20,000 small to mid-sized businesses.


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SAM (Serviceable Available Market)

The company specializes in offering project management software for marketing teams.

The SAM calculation includes small to mid-sized businesses with marketing departments.

They estimate a SAM of 5,000 potential customers.


SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market)

SOM calculations involve considering competition and pricing strategies.

The company determines that they can realistically capture 15% of the SAM based on their marketing efforts and product positioning.

The estimated SOM is 750 customers annually.


Now that you’ve learned how to precisely identify your Total Addressable Market (TAM), Segmentable Available Market (SAM), and attainable Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), it’s time to integrate these essential insights into your business plan. By incorporating TAM, SAM, and SOM, you can showcase a comprehensive understanding of your market and build investor confidence.


Investors closely examine these metrics. SAM and SOM provide insights into low-risk entry points, while TAM outlines growth potential. By showing a clear strategy for capturing a significant share of your SAM, you inspire investor trust.


Calculating TAM, SAM, and SOM is not just about numbers; it’s about using market insights to make informed decisions, navigate complexities, and drive business success.  By the end of this article we hope that you can answer questions like what is tam, sam vs som or tam vs som.


Contact our team today to learn more about business metrics and let us show how they can help grow your business.

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