How to Conduct Market Research the Right Way

Starting a new business? Before you open your doors, you need to know who your s are, what they want to buy, and what part of town they like to shop in. Use this advice to be sure you conduct good market in advance.

It takes a lot of money to start a small business and a huge investment of time and even more money to maintain Making decisions not grounded in data is a potentially cattrophic mistake but too many smallbusiness owners do

Near the top of the list are market decisions. How did you decide what stocks your shelves? How did you decide the type of you wanted to target? How did you pick the location of your business? These are only a few of the market decisions you have to make a business owner. These are the decisions that have a large impact on the future of your business and your revenue.

What is Market ?

You’ve likely heard the term before but the definition is often incomplete. What we think of market is the time you spend before starting your business where you analyze pt market trends to decide if your product or service h enough demand to make it worth your while.

That’s certainly true and it’s an important first step but market should never stop. Before making a big business decision, you should conduct market . Let’s say that you found a new location with more favorable lee terms. Should you move bed on price alone? How likely are your current s to follow you?

Market also looks into the future. When Apple invested into the development of the iPad, it already knew that umers wanted a smaller, lighter computing device. It knew that if it could make the larger, umers would purche the product. This w all thanks to the company’s market .

Market should look to the pt, present and future to study umer trends. Here’s how.

Look at the Economy

Maybe you’re not an economist but with a little , you can learn to read and understand reports outlining economic indicators, income and earnings data, and employment statistics. If the economy is weakening, the demand for highend products and services may lessen. If average income remains low, umers will demand high value at lower prices.

Invest in Industry Publications

Regardless of the type of business you own, there are trade groups that compile industry statistics that are important to your business. If you’re not a member of your industry’s trade group, join today. Not only does the group advocate on your behalf, they likely publish detailed industry statistics that are essential for making business decisions.

Some of those reports are expensive but it’s far more expensive to invest in an that fails. Also, look for firms that follow publically traded companies related to yours. If you own a sporting goods store, look for Wall Street analysts that follow companies like Dicks, Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour. Along with their of the company, these analysts also compile industry data that applies to every business—large or small—in the space.

Finally, do a good old fhioned Google search. Check industry blogs, trade magazines, and any other high quality information you can find. Much of what you uncover will be useless but some will be highly valuable. That material deserves a bookmark in your browser.

Look Internationally

If you are a typical local business without any sales taking place internationally, you still have a use for market outside the borders of the United States. An eleician probably isn’t traveling overse to work but the price of copper on international markets could affect the price of wire. A farmer knows that international demand for grains affect domestic prices, and a Realtor knows that global real estate markets may drive more foreign buyers to American soil.

Those in retail or ecommerce might sell to global markets. They have to know the state of the global markets. Look at the Trade Compliance Center or for more information.

Pound the Pavement

Finally, k the public. Conduct an online survey, k your s for their opinion when they purche from you, call pt s, k a question on social media or hire a firm to conduct the for you. If you’re looking for direct feedback on a new product you’re planning to develop or a new service you want to add, the best way is through direct, personal . It’s tedious but it will yield results.

Bottom Line

If you’re making decisions, your thesis should be largely bed on objective data. Your gut instincts may carry a little bit of weight but companies that conduct complete market quickly learn whether an is worth the investment of time and capital.

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