10 Tips for Researching the Market Before You Start a Business

starting up
Starting up
This is a blog post by James Adams.

There is a lot of research that goes into starting a new business. You need to know about your customers, study the competition, and set goals which will help you succeed. Here are ten tips to help you with researching your new business.

1. Find the purpose of your research

Specifically, what do you need to know with your research? Having a specific research goal in mind enables you to cut down on the amount of time and money that will be spent.

2. Set goals for success

Once you have determined the purpose of your research, you need to define success. This is a list of parameters that are necessary for you to consider yourself successful. Fleshing out the answer to this question will also help you research your next move.

3. Take a bird’s eye view

Knowing where your product fits in the business landscape is important. What selling points does your product have? If people have your product, what advantages will they gain? It is vital to know your customers’ motivations.

4. Survey your customers

Set up a survey based on the information that you wish to know. What are the features that they enjoy about existing products on the market? Create a website which asks these questions and collects the data. There are services available like Survey Monkey which specialize in helping you set up questionnaires.

5. Join forums

Lurk around on the forums which are related to your business. Discover the questions that they are asking over and over again. What are they talking about? What sort of language do they use? Forums are a great place to get honest opinions.

6. Competition research

You need to know who your competitors are before you can find out what they are doing. Go to their sites and find out where their weak points are. Find out what their customers are saying about them. How can you capitalize on their faults?

7. Social Marketing

Sites like Twitter and Facebook offer a wide range of opinions. Twitter will allow you to search using keywords so that you can find out what people are saying. It will also generate ideas about getting into the minds of your customer base.

8. Keyword research

Internet marketing needs to be an integral portion of your marketing plan. When you are turning to the search engines, what search terms are you using to find your information? These are the terms that your customers are using.

9. Look at trade information

Trade associations are valuable resources to turn to when doing research. Most trade associations have a trade magazine that you can read about new products as well as the successes and failures of other businesses. Associations also provide a deep well of networking contacts.

10. Test marketing

You have learned a lot of things, but you need to take it to the field to see if your product or service will really be a success. Offer your product to a limited group or area to see if they buy it. This will give you an idea of the real need for your services.

Research is an integral part of forming a new business because it allows you to judge the demand for your product. During your research phase, you have the opportunity to retool and refit your product to make sure that it serves the best use. Good luck!

About the Author

In his time as an in house writer at a leading specialist supplier of ink cartridges, James has covered a diverse subject matter from reviewing the CLT-P4092C toner to covering developments in design and hardware.