Where do you begin on market research?
Doing market research may seem daunting or boring, but it is a critical step in the process whether you are starting a business, expanding product lines or searching for new markets for existing products. A common mistake made is overestimating the demand. An idea, product, or service may seem to be a “no brainer” to the business owner but does the market feel the same way?
Market research is the “root” or foundation for an effective business or product launch, marketing campaign or growth strategy.
Conducting research will:
- Help you understand your market and determine if you even have a market. Is the idea feasible and sustainable? Will you have enough demand? Do potential customers even care?
- Move you from assumptions to research or data-driven decisions to help obtain funding or capitalization if the research shows potential.
- Help you to potentially uncover new opportunities or trends you didn’t consider, thus increasing your competitive advantage.
There’s a huge amount of data out there. With this data overload, it’s hard to sort through it all and know what’s reliable when gathering this type of information. But, conducting research on your own is easier than you might think if you follow these 3 steps:
- Step 1: Ask the right questions. The Who, What, Why, Where, and How. Detailed assessment questions to gather market, industry or competitive data is available.
- Step 2: Find the answers to the right questions using secondary or primary data. Secondary data, or published information, is information collected by others, not for your specific project or need, such as online business intelligence databases, government websites (Census), trade/industry associations and magazines, social media and more. FCEDC has gathered key sources that can help you find basic information at little or no cost. See the resource links below. Primary data is information collected directly from your potential customers or experts for your project or need. Includes personal interviews, surveys, and observations.
- Step 3: Evaluated data. Use a range of facts and figures to back up your plan and financials. Different sources may show different numbers so look at the time period of when the data was updated and use government and independent research that is not biased as much as possible. Source your data appropriately in your business plan to give credibility of the information.
Need more assistance?
Can’t find the data you need to determine if your idea is feasible? FCEDC also offers customized market research at affordable prices. As a service to our local Fond du Lac County business community, our business intelligence and research services are about half the market rate of $125-$130 per hour. Plus, special discounts apply for FCEDC investors, non-profits and start-ups.
Customized Market Research is available.