In our previous blogs we covered how to identify a business idea, how to define the mission/problem your business is set to solve, and the different types of organizational structures. What comes next is to validate your business concept. This validation comes through a market study or research.
First, let’s start by defining market research. Market research is a process that help a business determine the viability of their product or service through research directed at potential clients, also known as targeted market. The research can be done in-house or outsourced to a market research company.
There are different ways to perform a market research such as, surveys, product sampling, focus group, and others. It is very important to know that surveys should have both qualitative and quantitative measures; questions that capture customers’ expectations (i.e. values they look for in a product or service like yours), things they don’t like about your competition, features and benefits they would like to see in such a product, ranking your competitors, etc.…
Product sampling is usually followed up by a survey, is recorded through observation, or both. This feedback is very important as it helps you adjust the product or service to increase your customers’ satisfaction thus increase the chances of a successful business. This survey would be different than the survey discussed above as it is tightly linked to your product, so direct questions about the product, the features of the product, what they loved about it, things they hated, all should be accounted for.
Finally, focus groups are usually better than individual interviews (another market research method) because data is collected faster. So, what is a focus group? A focus group is a group of people up to 10 persons (usually selected from the targeted market) participating in a discussion addressing preset goals questions that you want answers to from your audience. Usually focus group meetings last up to 90 minutes. It goes without saying that you need to prepare beforehand, and make sure that the discussion is planned to get the conclusions you need.
Your market research could be part of market analysis, which expand to cover your competitors, suppliers, and stakeholders. If so, your market analysis would help you understand the market better, how you can position your company/product, identify the best suppliers/partners, ways to enter the market, …etc.
The more data you can collect the more accurate and solid your projections, marketing strategy, and sales strategy would be.
Our team is here to support you, feel free to reach out.
The Windham Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation offers a suite of services, programs, and resources at the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the non-profit regional development corporation serving southeastern Vermont. We help at all business stages, from startup and growth, to reorganization and succession. BDCC’s business services are guided by the regional economic development plan (CEDS) to advance strategies that foster an entrepreneurial environment, support small businesses, increase access to capital, and build an inclusive and equitable economy. For more information please visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/