Research Your Business Before You Get Started
Thinking about starting your own business? Well, before you hang out a shingle or sink your life savings into your new business, you are going to have to do a significant amount of market research. It goes without saying that your business needs a good plan. It needs a roadmap. This plan will include your goals and objectives. But you can't come up with a feasible business plan unless you have some insight regarding your business, potential customers, your competition, and how you want to position your product and service in the marketplace. Sure, you can write up a plan on how you would like things to go. But without having the research to back your plan up, your plan is meaningless. Instead of being a road map of how you can get to where you want to go, your plan is, instead, just a fictional account of how you hope things will go.
It bears repeating. There are three things you must do before you take the first steps to get your business off the ground. Research, research, research!
That's right. You are going to have to research the market. You are going to have to research potential customers. And finally, you are going to have to research your competitors. Your research should reveal five important facts:
- If there is a market for your product or service.
- If the market can bear another company of your kind.
- Who your potential customers are, and what motivates them to buy.
- What these customers want and need.
- How you should position your products or services in the marketplace.
Once you have this information in hand you'll be able to do two things: 1.) Determine whether your product or service is a viable business idea; and 2.) Figure out what marketing strategies you need in order to enjoy a successful business.
Research the Market
You can research your market for no or very little cost by getting it from the media, business and industry associations, books and magazines, the internet, and government agencies. You'll want to get answers to questions like: How many people could potentially be interested in my business or hobby? Where would I find these customers? Are there other products or services like mine? Are there product specifications that must be followed? Is there any demographic information available? Basically, there is an endless amount of data you can get from the above sources. The goal is to find or contact the sources that have the type of data you are looking for.
Research Potential Customers
First of all, who are your potential customers, and do they need your product or service? With a little research on your own, you'll soon find out.
First of all, consider your product or service. Who would use this product or service? For example, let's say you've invented a product that allows golfers to hold extra tees, pencils, etc. without stuffing them in their shoes or other places they aren't meant to be. So, who are your potential customers? Golfers, of course! The first thing you need to do is find out where your potential customers hang out. Logical places include the golf course, pro shop, online chat rooms, and golf-related web sites. Go to these places and talk to your customers. What do they think of your product or service? Would they use it? How much would they expect to pay for it? Try using tools like questionnaires, surveys, or polls. And never underestimate the power of just a simple conversation with the right person or people! Soon you'll know not only if your potential product or service appeals to your potential customers, but you'll also know if there is enough interest to put your product or service in action.
Research Your Competition
First of all, how many companies sell products and services similar to yours? And is there room in the market for another company to sell these product or services? Those are the first questions you should ask yourself when researching your competition.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can look at your competition in a little more detail. Is your competition successful? In which areas do they excel, and in which areas do they not? How would you copy them, and how would you do things differently?
Looking at your competition may also help you come up with a niche product or service. How can you do things slightly different from your competition? What will set you apart and have customers wanting your products and services over those of your competition?
Remember, research is the key to getting your business up and starting and successful. To ensure the success of your business, research your market, research your customers, and research your competition.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Repair Site, part of Localwin Network.