There is already an article here about market research and how to conduct a simple yet effective research project. Here is another simple market research tool.
This market research costs you nothing except for a few minutes of your time, and it can reach a vast number of people.
You may have an idea that has several parts, or an idea that appeals to several demographic groups, or both. This idea allows you to reach out to lots of potential customers and discover the level of interest before spending time, effort and money on something that nobody is interested it.
Take one aspect of your idea and submit a post on that subject to your social media pages. Now obviously you are not going to describe how your new idea actually works – you are going to describe the problem it solves and ask others if they have had similar issues.
What you are looking for are comments – positive or negative – and ‘Likes’, re-posts etc. What you are trying to establish is the level of interest in the solution you have invented. You do that by judging the responses to your description of the problem. The ideal is a dozen or more comments that agree that the problem you describe is real, that it effects many people and that they do not have a suitable solution.
Now repeat that with one or two other aspects of your idea. Don’t cover every aspect since there may be someone who can ‘reverse engineer’ your idea from your posts! Just cover enough so that you know that there are enough people who have the same problem such that there are enough of them to support your new business.
That then paves the way for you to further develop your idea and then announce it (with suitable fanfare!)
The alternative is that you modify the idea and try again, or aim at a different demographic next time, or be more focussed and describe the problem in more emotional terms.
Would you be interested in more information on the nitty gritty of doing this kind of market research?
Most people avoid doing market research. For some reason they would rather start the intended business without sufficient information, then try to fix it as time goes by. That just takes time and effort away from actually running the business, and is something like changing the wheel of a car as it is being driven along.
Market research can be a simple, inexpensive exercise that provides specific information that results in a business that is best placed to make a profit from Day 1. What follows is a description of what to do and how to do it, and a template for you to use.
Begin by compiling a list of around 50 people who you might ask for an opinion, then from that list identify around 20 whose opinion you value more, then from that list around a half dozen whose opinion you really value and who you feel are predisposed to assist you.
Next, develop your story. This story is the tale of the business that you are thinking of starting, and that you would appreciate if they would read your proposal and give you some feedback on it.
Tell them why you think it is a good idea to start the business, what unsolved problem you identified and how you intend to solve it.
Ask them not to mention the idea, since you may not continue if you get negative feedback, and then ask specific questions designed to get at the information you really want.
Also ask them if you can add their comments and then send it back to them for further comment.
Now that you have composed your letter, send it to the group of around a half dozen. Wait until you have their feedback, then make whatever changes you think are necessary – either in the business model or in the market research letter itself, or both – and then send that out to the group of 20.
Repeat the exercise, making whatever changes you believe are required, and then send it out to the full group you identified.
When you have all that feedback collated and understood you will be able to make a reasoned decision about going into that business.
You will know if other people share your opinion that there is a requirement for that new business, you will know what they believe is important, and you will know what to say when you start to market the business. That’s a far better position than just starting the business and hoping that it is in the right place, with the right product at the right price.
What follows is a template that you can use, and an example letter created for an Accountant who wanted to offer their fellow Accountants some sub-contract services.
If you have any questions please just go to the Member’s Forum and let us know what is on your mind. Remember to search for your question first, we may have already answered it, and that will get you back up and running almost immediately.