Step 3 Market Research

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

So you’re committed to your a business idea, woohoo! Now what? Unless you decided to create a unique product that you plan to trademark you will not be reinventing the wheel. Most likely there is a business out there similar to yours. That does not mean you cannot have a successful business. Businesses with similar products and services can co-exist in the same markets. But it’s up to you to know exactly how your product is different. Make yourself stand out talk to people in an out of your community.


Primary research is the gathering of data from analyzing current sales and the effectiveness of current practices. Primary research also takes competitors' plans into account, giving you information about your competition. Know what your market responds to by doing a focus group. It can be as simple as a quick email survey through providers like Big Data Smart Survey and Formstack. Survey tools can be a quick and easy way to gather critical market research to start and grow your business. You can also interview clients or people in your community either by telephone or face-to-face.

Some important questions might include:

  • What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?

  • What do you like or dislike about current products or services currently on the market?

  • What areas would you suggest for improvement?

  • What is the appropriate price for a product or service?

  • What factors do you consider when purchasing this product or service?

  • What areas would you suggest for improvement?

Secondary research is analyzing data that has already been published. With secondary data, you can identify competitors, establish benchmarks and identify the people who fall into your targeted demographic as well as their lifestyle, behavioral patterns or fall into a predetermined age group.

Using only secondary research doesn't give you the full picture.

It can be a great place to start, of course, but the information you get from secondary research can be outdated. Using common search engines to gather information, you get only data that are available to everyone and it may not be fully accurate. Surveying only the people you know, family members and close friends may not be the best route when conducting research. To get the most useful and accurate information, you need to talk to potential customers and business owners. In other words get the information from the source.

Knowing your target market and what appeals most to them will help you refine your product offerings. It will also help you develop a strategic marketing plan. For example, a printed flyer mailed to young millennial's will miss the mark, since they get the majority of their information online.

Marketing research can give a business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. By researching the answers to specific questions, small-business owners can learn what is needed to launch and grow their business. You can use the results either to create a business and marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan.

To find out how feasible your idea is in the real world, it needs to be backed up with research and statistics. Market research will help you evaluate the potential of your business and prepare for the challenges that you may encounter. Failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation can prove detrimental to its success. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

  • Is anyone else already doing what you want to start doing?

  • If not, is there a good reason why?

  • Do you know what your competition is doing?

  • How are they winning customers?

  • How are they keeping customers loyal?

  • What differentiates their product or services from those that your business offers?

Regardless of whether a person wants to start a small business or a large one, the first step is to do the research. Doing the research means learning about different industries in an attempt to identify problems. Know your market, competitors, and realistic opportunities. Evaluate and explore your business idea then set your business goals. Talk to people in and out of your community, all these things are important and will lead you to formulate your business plan.

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