Having a business idea can be so exciting that you want to launch immediately. However, it is extremely important that you don’t rush into launching an idea without first of all taking the time to compile market research. This is so you don’t waste your time, energy and money on an idea that may not work. Conducting the appropriate market research will ensure you are going to launch your business to its full potential and can make you aware of problems that may arise.
Some individuals will set up their business having completed very little market research, often asking friends and family for feedback on their idea prior to launch. On the other hand, you can find that some people will spend so much time researching their idea that they fail to ever launch. It’s important that you find the correct balance.
Often asking friends and family can lead to biased results. Therefore, by asking members of the public who are a sample of your target market you will be able to gain valuable and unbiased feedback that will result in organic answers. You could do this via forums, LinkedIn discussion groups that relate to your topic and www.surveymonkey.com. This will help you to further develop your product or service and also to better understand your market, potential customers and competitors.
Analysing your competitors is an important component of your market research. You should examine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with respect to their website, marketing, service and promotions. This will allow you to solidify your Unique Selling Point and ensure that your idea stands out from competitors in a positive light.
Speaking to your customers will give you valuable insight to how they think and what their internal language is, which you can later implement into your marketing research – ultimately what will make your customer make the decision to buy your product or service.
Some of the following questions can be used to gain a deeper level of understanding:
- What are your biggest frustrations around… (your selected topic)? This question will help you to identify the problems that your customer is facing.
- What do these problems cost you? Is the problem big enough that the customer would pay for your product or service?
- What goals do you have surrounding this topic? This will communicate your target market’s goals and what is important to them.
- What will your life look like when these goals are accomplished? This gives insight to the customer’s motivation behind their goal.
- If you could ask any question about… (your selected topic), what would you want to know?
This will uncover answers that you hadn’t previously thought of.
- If this was a product/service – would you buy it and how much would you pay? Allows you to have an idea of the price point you should be deciding.
- How would you like to find out about this topic? Allows you to see their preferred communication method and you can build your marketing strategy around these answers.
As a final point, it is important to view market research as an activity to be carried out again and again. Markets will change, trends will change and customers may change. By carrying out market research repeatedly, it will ensure that you stay up to date with these changes and adapt your business accordingly – hopefully one step ahead of your competitors and allow your business to become more creative.
If you want to discuss the best way to conduct market research for your business or idea, please make an enterprise appointment by calling 020 7882 8533.