Why Market Research Matters
Doing the right market research is crucial to the success of your new business. Primarily, it can help you answer a few important questions about your products and services and how to approach your market:
- How big is the demand for your products and services?
- What does the current marketplace and your competition look like?
- Who are your target customers?
- How valuable do they find your offerings?
- What is your USP – the unique selling point that sets your business apart?
If you’re a start-up business paying for professional market research may not be the most affordable option. However, depending on your finance, your market and your products and services, there are a number of ways to carry out effective market research yourself.
Step 1: Getting it Right
Before conducting any practical market research, you’ll need to work out who you’ll be selling to and who your potential customers are. Your target market will be determined by what you’re selling. Think about whether this will be to a consumer or a business, and consider demographics such as age, gender and location. Find out who buys similar products and services to yours and check out the competition.
Then you can conduct your market research. Make a focus group or create questionnaires to ask people who fit your target market for their opinions:
Are they interested in buying what you’re offering?
What trends are they currently following?
Do they have any concerns about your products, services or approach?
Getting valuable feedback from the people you’ll be selling to is very helpful, particularly if you’ll be launching a new product or service and would like it tried and tested.
Step 2: Assess the Competition
Your market research can also help you develop appropriate pricing and help your business stand out. As well as asking potential customers for feedback, use your competitors to set a pricing structure. Evaluate what you could do that’s better and consider why your target market would use you instead.
Use market reports and other publications to find out competitors’ sales patterns, turnover and profit
Look at their marketing and advertising to strengthen your brand identity and USP, whether you can beat them on quality, prices, or customer service
You could even approach some competitors and ask them about their business, products and services
5 Top Tips for Conducting Market Research
Use both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative will give you the key statistics whilst qualitative will provide insight into customer opinions and feelings
Take into account both the positive and negative feedback for more accurate and valuable results. Negative feedback will help you to improve your products and services and tailor them to your customers’ specific needs
Get enough information from your whole target market. You may be targeting different groups of customers and you’ll need insight from a reasonable number of people to best improve your products and services
Ask specific, relevant questions. Difficult to understand or misleading questions could skew your research results. Give people a choice of answers or ratings, and ask open ended, opinion led questions as opposed to simple yes or no questions
Can’t wait to get started?
For any advice on conducting market research successfully or to run through your ideas with our expert advisers, you can call Worcestershire Business Central team.