Starting up a new business can be an exciting and at the same time stressful prospect. To ensure success and make profit you must find an exploitable gap in the market. No matter what you are looking to launch, an avant-garde product idea or a new service within an untapped area, your aim remains the same – to stand out.The most useful tool at this point will be ‘market research’. Investing time at the onset of your venture to know more about systematic review of the area you are looking in to and your potential customer base can make a lot of difference to your business. It will definitely mark the line between a thriving business and an expensive blunder.Don’t see the importance? Here’s how market research can provide valuable insights to help you:• Minimize business risks• Identify existing, recurrent and future problems within your industry• Find and explore sales opportunities
There are two types of market research namely, primary and secondary research. In secondary research, an entrepreneur goes through various existing norms, ideas regarding a specific product or service. It is basically the collection of already existing data such as consumer demographics, major competitors, and general usage of products available online and in books and publications. Primary research involves gathering of data from the field.It implies assessing customers’ likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs about the specific idea of your proposition.Focus groups, field studies, and simple observations of customer behaviour are some ways in which companies obtain primary market research.Below given are ideas to follow when conducting the market research:• The trick to use free market dataEasily accessible data in the form of statics regarding your target market can be found on a host of places. Office for National Statistics website though a bit of a jumble can find you information on pretty much anything. To name a few useful things, information is inclusive of people’s spending habits, how prices change and demographics. Always know that if you do have a direct competitor you would be able to find out a lot from their sales data, or even observing their work.• Talk to more and more peopleThere is absolutely no substitute for talking to people. Make the most of your time travelling by chatting with people keen upon opining for your task at hand. Go for a questionnaire if possible to gain more insights straight from the horse’s mouth. Consider cold-calling every once in a while to be able to accumulate more data quickly and also if you cannot stand the idea of grabbing people’s attention on streets. Engage your family friends by pitching them your proposition for business and generate more insights.
• Internet is your friendAt this point you need to be on social media and assess the moods of potential customers through various platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. depending upon your product and services. For e.g. Facebook would be of help if yours is a B2C venture, in case of B2B, LinkedIn would be more appropriate. Make use of survey questionnaires to gain deeper insights.• Where is your target audience?After data collection you will realize where your company fits in terms of market segment. You will have a clear picture about the target audience you need to work about.In this way you will have a market research ready to launch your product precisely in the right frame of competition, people and place.