Starting and running a business is a task that requires a lot of smart moves at the right time. Conducting marketing research is an essential part of keeping your business flowing or gathering useful information before starting one. Many people think that this process of creating creative business names is too complicated. Luckily, with good organization and if you know which steps are important to take, you can perform a detailed market evaluation.
Doing this is extremely important, as many people are clueless; they are not aware of the actual direction in which they are headed. This leads to lower revenue, less profits and it can certainly lead to bankruptcy. Therefore, it is important to dedicate some of your time to it and take several important steps to know exactly what your goals are going to be.
Two well-known research methods
No matter what line of work we are talking about, there are two methods that are always used; primary and secondary research. Each of these methods is important in their own way and you should utilize both of them in order to get the best results.
Primary research – This type of research is more direct. Nowadays, as the internet has greatly expanded, it is possible to conduct online surveys to potentially evaluate your future customers’ opinion about the product you are planning to sell. Conducting a survey is now easier than ever, as platforms such as SurveyMonkey make it simple for anyone to create and send surveys to people. Performing online research is going to provide you with a much greater outreach, which makes this method very popular.
However, it is also important to stay local and conduct surveys with people who live in your city. Visiting Universities, companies and other places where you can find large groups of people is a good way to conduct a survey that is going to give you enough information about your future endeavor. You can tackle this approach on your own, but you can also use professionals who can perform this process for you. It all depends on your budget, but chances are that you are better off hiring professionals, as they already have a channel for gathering information.
Secondary research – It relies on data compiled by agencies that perform years of market research and make the information accessible to anyone. The fact that this information is free gives an edge to business owners who are operating on a tight budget. Two options are available for conducting good secondary research. You can always visit a local library where librarians will be more than happy to provide the information about the resources you are looking for.
This is a bit of an old school method, but it is a great way to find specific data that may not be available online. On the other hand, the internet has made this type of research much easier, as a lot of the information is instantly available to you while you are on the go. Some of the good resources come from websites such as thomasnet.com, which was created with the purpose of connecting industrial buyers and sellers.
There is a wide variety of useful statistical data that can greatly help. Additionally, government sources are even more focused on consumer markets, such as Statistical Abstract of the United States, which contains an abundance of information that is quite useful for entrepreneurs in any line of work.
Combining these two types of marketing research is the best way to acquire a lot of information about both the local and the global market. Many businesses make the mistake of relying only on one of these methods, which does not provide complete data according to which a business focuses its direction. Therefore, it is vital to include both of these methods in order to improve business growth.
Every industry has its own trade association. These associations are perfect for acquiring detailed information regarding a specific topic about your industry. The majority of trade associations provide this information free of charge. Another good way of researching the market is by following associations.
These publications are also aimed at consumers, which is a perfect way to get to know more details about your target audience. Important data that you will be interested in, such as past, current and future trends. How people are spending money and their purchasing habits and patterns. Following all of these publications is the best way to acquire all the important information that will help you grow your business steadily.
Government agencies offer a different set of free information about the market. There are several different types of resources that can provide you with the much needed data. The most important online resource is the U.S. Census Bureau. There is a variety of information that can be useful for your business:
- State and Metropolitan Area Data Book – These are all of the important statistics for different metropolitan areas in the U.S.
- The Census Product Update – This is a list of recent and soon-to-be-released products from the Census Bureau. It is compiled every month and subscribing to it is completely free.
- Country Business Patterns – This is an excellent resource if you are looking for competition presence. You can find the exact number of particular businesses according to the ZIP code in the U.S. This is an excellent way of finding areas that have the least competitors in the industry you are in.
As this is a free resource, it is a good idea to invest some time and acquire all the necessary data that will help you increase your profits.
These are some of the most effective ways of conducting thorough market research. You can acquire all the important information for your business from these sources; for example, whether people like your product, whether they would buy it, is your brand name appealing, how often is your product needed in a household, etc. These are only some of the questions that you will be able to answer, which is going to tremendously change your business strategies, resulting in stable business growth.