Five Easy Ways to Conduct Your Own Market Research Before Starting a Business
You woke up with a brilliant idea that you know is going to be the next best thing, but now what?
Anyone considering starting a business will face many questions, concerns, and obstacles before taking the leap. The first question that must be answered is: “are people willing to pay for my product or service?” Without that question being answered with an absolute yes, there is no business.
Get Valuable Feedback
The first step is to get valuable feedback and do the right market research. Yes, it’s great that your mom, sister, or cousin told you that they love your idea and would definitely buy your product but what about real, potential customers?
No matter what the idea is, whether it’s a product or service, you need to get it in front of unbiased people that can give you sincere and honest opinions.
All truth be told, this can be the scariest part of the journey sometimes.
Entrepreneurs work hard to get their businesses out there and it’s scary to think that people may not our business idea as much as we thought they would. My advice is to please don’t let this stop you! Use the criticism to your advantage because customer feedback is the cornerstone of any successful business. Use what they are saying to evolve what you are selling.
Take your product or service to local markets, interview potential customers, and see if they would pay for your product or service. Pass out samples and get feedback. Remember, the idea is to confirm that people will pay for your product or service. If you are receiving more negative feedback than positive, don’t get discouraged. This is your chance to improve on your original idea or pivot to a slightly new one. This can be a very good thing!
More than likely you will be promoting your product or service on social media, so start there. Put up online polls or surveys about your business idea and see what people's and potential customers' answers are. You could be surprised by what you find! If the answers aren’t what you thought they would be, that’s ok. To start a successful business, we need to know what potential customers are looking for and how much they are willing to pay.
Visit Local Retailers
If you have a physical product, take it around to local retailers that may want to carry your product and ask for their honest feedback. You can leave a few of your products with them to see if they will sell. It could be invaluable information to build and grow your business. They may tell you that they love your product and would like to carry it, but your price point is too high or the packaging may not be a good fit. Whatever the feedback may be, take that and use it to make your product even better.
Offer Free or Discounted Services
If you have a service industry idea, offer your service for free or at a very deep discount to gain potential customers, get honest feedback and see if there is a clientele for your service. This could help gain insight and build a portfolio of happy customers.
Another great way to get your new business idea out there is to go to local or online networking events. This is a great way to mingle with other entrepreneurs, give and receive valuable feedback, and build a strong network of like-minded individuals.
Just remember, don’t let negative feedback stop you from moving forward. Take it all in, analyse what people are saying, and use that to build a better product or service.
Once you learn that people want to be your customers, you are on your way to building a very successful business.