Many new business owners fail to carry out basic market research before they start, increasing the likelihood of early failure. Thorough market research is essential to help start ups find out whether there will be enough demand for the products or services they plan to supply once they commence trading...
If you are starting a business, the more research you do initially, the better your position will be when it comes to making future business decisions. To begin with, it is important to answer the following questions before starting up.
A variety of questions need to be considered in order to build up a picture of the key issues and trends that may have an influence on your market sector and business idea. Understanding the market will enable you to target your marketing efforts towards specific audiences, while also identifying how your competitors are approaching the market themselves.
Find out as much as you can about your market by reading market reports, trade journals and newspapers, and by searching online. Make a list of your competitors using your knowledge of your market, business directories and trade journals. Also, make a list of your competitors' strengths and weaknesses and assess how you can compete with them.
You will also want to list the differences between your products and services and those of your competitors. A visit your local business reference library is a useful next step - they will be able to help you organise your research and find reliable, up-to-date sources of information.
Do some direct market research by talking to potential customers to build up a picture of the local market and its requirements. Designing questionnaires and selecting the right time, place and method (such as face-to-face, telephone or postal) can be complicated, so if you are inexperienced in research, seek help from a business adviser.
Your market research will form a major part of your business and marketing plans, so keep a record of your research to refer back to when you are reviewing or developing your plans in the future. Make the time to do your research properly. It is one of the most important things you will ever need to do and getting the right information now will help avoid problems later.
Don't just carry out research before you start up and assume that is all you will ever need to do. Carry out research as an ongoing part of your regular business activity to ensure that you remain aware of what is happening in your sector and can retain a competitive edge. Finally, be realistic with your research findings and be sensible with your assumptions and market predictions.
Many new business owners fail to carry out basic market research before they start, increasing the likelihood of early failure. Thorough market research is essential to help start ups find out whether there will be enough demand for the products or services they plan to supply once they commence trading…
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