Consumers always have evolving needs. One of the most desirable things business owners strive for at all times is to ascertain the wants of their customers. As an entrepreneur, market research aims at evaluating the feasibility of your new business and tailoring it to your customers’ needs. However, as many small businesses are sole proprietors, they may neither have the required experience or budget to conduct market research. If you’re in this situation, the following steps will help.
Try to understand what your target audience is.
Starting a business without knowing your target audience is risky. Unless you’re a monk with out-of-the-world sensory abilities, it pays to have your eyes wide opened and your ears glued to how consumers navigate in your niche.
Good market research gets you in tune with what the trends say and what other business leaders are saying. This often involves countless surveys and analytics, which can be tricky to handle. So a cost-effective approach is to keep tabs on industry insiders like Will Johnson of the Harris Poll—one of the world’s leading public opinion poll firms.
Will is a seasoned contributor to popular platforms like the Washington Post, Harvard Businesses Review, Forbes, etc. In 2016, he presented an analytical report to the World Economic Forum rating 80 nations against their business elites. Business leaders like Will Johnson and platforms like The Harris Poll can provide you with the right data to narrow the scope of your market audience. With significant knowledge of your market audience, you can define your buyer persona and ultimately build your brand around it.
Analyze your industry and its main players.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on businesses worldwide. Many companies have either had to downsize or, worse, fold. Using analytics to make well-informed decisions is now essential more than ever. Another essential step of the research process is to gather background knowledge on your industry and its players. Generally, data is vital to the market researching process.
Let’s say you aim to open a vegan restaurant in the heart of New York. Starting your research by analyzing major stakeholders can help you understand the city’s restaurant marketplace better. With such analysis, you can determine which business model works best for your industry. You may not necessarily have to build everything from scratch. A franchise opportunity gives you access to veteran strategies that have been tried and tested.
Franchising is gradually becoming an option for many people who want to become their own boss. Many believe that franchise business ventures are going to enjoy significant profits due to their ability to cut costs and be innovative. Currently, the U.S. franchise industry has close to a trillion dollars in value, with major players like KFC, Walmart, etc., pushing the industry’s growth limits.
Always take note of well-performing strategies and products.
In researching your market, work out results to the minute detail possible. Remember that the overarching objective of your research is to evaluate your new business’s feasibility. It pays to keep an eye on what products perform the best and what strategies have bolstered your competitors to diverse revenue streams and significant profits.
Knowing what your competitors are doing isn’t a ploy to infiltrate the market with similar products and offerings. Market research helps to take stock of everything that has been done by your industry so far so you can determine how and what you to do better. For many businesses today, differentiation is a recipe for marketing success.
Carefully summarise all your findings.
Market research provides new businesses the insights to build their offerings and tailor them to varying market needs. But what purpose does data serve if it can’t be frequently referenced to make decisions? After collecting and analyzing all the data, you can summarize your findings into a comprehensive and sharable format. This makes it convenient to leverage the insights from your research for your start-up growth.