Vital Information about Customers
Customers supply the revenue that enables your business to thrive. Without them, you’re looking at immediate failure. As such, it’s always vitally essential that you work to research everything there is to know about your customers before you take the plunge into business. You need to precisely target your audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the reasons my targeted group (niche) will purchase products/services from my business?
- What are the characteristics of my targeted niche, i.e. gender, status, employment, location, habits, ethnicity, background, age, etc.?
- Do my prices stack up with what they’re willing to pay?
- Can they find better deals elsewhere?
Vital Information about Competitors
Keeping with the same theme, we realize that it’s equally as important to know about our competitors as it is to know about our customers. Thorough research on all competitors in the area or in the same niche market will help you to properly assess your chances for success. Again, ask yourself:
- Who are my competitors and how many do I have in this market?
- Where are my competitors located?
- What are they selling, are their products better than mine, and how are they promoting those products?
- What are my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and how can I realize and capitalize once finding out?
- Will the marketplace be flooded with similar competitors in the near future?
Where to Look for the Market Information
There are many places to find this information out for yourself, such as libraries and other public resources located in the area of the business. You can also (if land-based) explore the business for yourself and see what you’re up against. Some of this information is free, some of it will cost you a little bit of money, but it’s all well worth the effort. Without the proper research, you’re entering the market blindly.
Accessing this detailed market information may involve purchasing market reports from a few sources. By performing an online search via your favourite engine, you can find a plethora of resources – both free and paid-for – that will help you to locate the vital information you need in order to make your business flourish.
Locating the background information on different businesses is also in your best interest. By doing so, you can find vital information on a successful business and see how they got to be a success. You should never emulate the exact tactics, however, as the market is rapidly changing. Using research for formulate your own market strategy to tackle the competition is simply what the market demands from a startup business.