Why Market Research Is Important

So you’re ready to start a business. You have your business plan ready, a location and product in mind, and everything go live in just a matter of time. One critical step that just might be slipping your mind is the observation of competitors through effective market research.

What is Market Research?

According to Investopedia.com market research is the process of determining the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers. This research can be done through a variety of methods. It is often a process of trial and error in order to figure out what works best for both your business and current situation. For example, someone doing market research while looking to buy a business might go about things differently than someone who is just starting up.

How Do You Perform Market Research?

This leads us to the question of how is market research performed? Well, like I stated in the previous section, there are multiple ways to do things. It comes down to your budget and time availability. The five main types are: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials. There is far too much information to go into detail on each type. However, a simple Google search will provide you with more than enough information.

These can all be conducted either in person, or online through a variety of tools and websites.

Why Is This Relevant for Small Businesses?

Typically, small businesses are operating with limited capital and a pretty tight knit staff. For those reasons, free market research can provide an incredible return on investment. Additionally, it can go hand and hand with an

effective social media strategy. By utilizing in-app features such as story polls and direct messaging, small businesses can effectively reach the customer faster than ever. If your social media platforms have a noticeable following, interacting with your customer base through the apps can be a no cost strategy to observe their habits and preferences.

When Should Market Research Be Conducted?

This research can be conducted whenever you feel like! It is, however, particularly important during the starting phases of business. Understanding what your clients are looking for can allow for more focused marketing strategies. Ultimately, more focused strategies will provide you with a greater ROI and faster growth and success for your business.

 

 

Written by Zachary Balla, Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office Marketing Team

Zachary Balla is a graduate assistant at the PA SBDC and current MBA student at Kutztown University. He is from Exeter, Pennsylvania and enjoys reading and playing the piano in his free time.