How can market research help a business?
— Julie O'Grady
If you are considering starting up a new business, then market research is a must for the business to be a success by making informed decisions. You need to establish that there is enough demand for your product or service before investing substantial resources into it. Market research doesn’t stop once the business is up and running though; it is something that should be ongoing so that the business remains competitive.
A number of questions require answers from your market research such as:
- How many consumers will buy my product or service?
- Who are these potential customers?
- How much will they be willing to pay?
- Who are my competitors?
- Is the business financially feasible?
To gather this information there are two types of market research to do:
- Primary data – this is information that you either compile yourself or pay someone else to do it for you.
- Secondary data – is information that is already publicly available such as government documents including statistics, trade associations and reports from potential competitors.
You will need to find out as much as you can about the market and you can do this by reading reports, trade journals, newspapers and searching online.
List your competitors using your knowledge of the market, business directories, trade journals and telephone directories.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’? Do a SWOT analysis to determine how you can compete.
What are the differences between your products and services and that of your competitors’?
Carry out some direct market research by talking to potential customers to build up a picture of the local market and its requirements. Designing questionnaires and selecting the right time, place and method (such as face-to-face, telephone or by post).
Visit Jersey Library where there are a number of resources to use with information to help you. Including books and online resources such as the Complete Business Reference Advisor (COBRA) which is available to use for free.
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