In the business world, figuring out what your customers want and how your competitors are doing it isn’t just a guessing game. That’s where market research comes in. Market research helps businesses make smart decisions and stand out. How do you conduct market research?
This article is all about market research, why it’s so useful, and, most importantly, how to actually do it. In the “Start Your Business in 30 Days” Program, I will give you the tools that you can use to conduct market research.
After you conduct your market research, I will review them and give you feedback on areas of improvement. Enroll now for the next cohort of “Start Your Business in 30 Days” if you need guidance starting and setting up your business.
In this article, we’ll talk about the good things that come from market research and break down the steps so you can easily understand how to get started. By the end, you’ll have a simple toolkit to help your business grow and stay ahead.
Market research is very important when starting any type of business. Conducting market research will help you know and understand your customers, the competition, and the industry you want to operate in.
Knowing your customers, your competition, and your industry will set you apart and help you be successful in your business.
Benefits Of Conducting Market Research
Now, we will look at the different benefits of conducting market research.
Choose the Right Legal Structure
Market research will help you choose the right type of business structure and structure your company appropriately according to the law.
There are different legal structures, and some businesses are mandated by the law to be registered under certain share capital. If you do not conduct your research and do due diligence, you will not know.
Helping entrepreneurs make informed decisions is the reason we published The Entrepreneur and the Law: The Ultimate Legal Guide To Doing Business in Nigeria.
The Entrepreneur And The Law; The Ultimate Legal Guide To Starting Your Business is a resource that every business owner or aspiring business owner should own. With this resource, you are confident that you are on the right side of the law always in your business dealing. This resource and other resource you need is available on www.entrepreneurs.ng/shop.
Choose the Right Brand Strategy
Market research will help you build a brand and choose a brand strategy that will set you apart. With the insights gathered from market research, you can confidently set prices for your goods and services. With the right data and information, you will set yourself apart from the competition.
Before starting ReDahlia Workspaces, I did a lot of research to know exactly what the competition was doing. Where were they located? What type of service did they offer? Were the hubs offering incubation programs, acceleration programs, or just office spaces? What types of spaces did they offer? Did they offer open-plan spaces only or a combination of open plan office and private office plans? Were there other complementary services offered in addition to the office plan? Were they built for startups or did they serve other types of entrepreneurs? What was their pricing structure? How were the spaces designed?
It took months of research both online and offline to gather these market insights. The data helped us to structure, position, and brand ReDahlia Workspaces as not just a co-working space but as a solution centre and one stop centre to entrepreneurs.
Knowing what other people are doing, will help you brand yourself and your business.
Don’t Leave Anything to Chance When Conducting Market Research
In conducting market research, no stone should be left unturned. You have to visit their physical locations, website(s) and social media handles. This will guide you in pricing your product and positioning yourself differently.
Also, reach out to prospective clients and friends to know how much they are currently paying for the type of service you want to offer and how much they are willing to pay for your service.
We do this exercise for any product or service we want to launch. Knowing this information will set you apart and help you price your product or service competitively. You will then decide whether you want to price yourself premium or go the price war route.
How Do You Conduct Market Research?
Follow this step-by-step guide to conduct a market research for your new business.
Identify Your Marketable Skills
Everything has a process that works. Before you get to the point of conducting market research as new business, you must have identified your most profitable skill. This skill is what you want to build a business on and you have also researched the marketability of the skill exhaustively. I wrote extensively on how to identify your marketable skills in a previous article here.
Visit the Competition
While trying to establish this marketability, you would identify the companies that offer similar services as you i.e competition. You then go ahead to visit the company online or in-person or both to assess what products and services they offer and how these are priced.
So, for our co-working space, I was looking out for the type of space our competition offered, their hours of business/operations and the value-added services amongst other things.
Check How Competition Price Their Offerings
You want to know the range of pricing for the businesses in your industry. How much do they charge? Check out at least 10 of your competitors.
Websites may not be enough; so, take more proactive steps here like actually using their service or talking to them directly.
I will advise looking at both extremes; the least priced company in your niche and the premium-priced company. What services do both offer and what differentiates them? You will be amazed at the data you will gather.
Look at Their Social Media
Next, look at their social media footprints. Do they have a social media presence? Social media is a huge platform and people are making a lot of money using social media the right way.
You want to know how the businesses in your niche are creating visibility using social media. Are they good at it? Are they bad at it? If they are bad at it, what do you think they are doing wrong and how can you capitalize on that to win over customers from them.
If they are good at it, what are they doing well and what do you need to do to stand out in this social media space?
It is good to know and have a social media strategy if you want to succeed in business these days. This is especially important if you do not have offline social capital that you can leverage.
The internet and social media have become levellers and have allowed entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to build some social assets. I will help you start building your online presence in the Start Your Business in 30 Days Program. Enrol now.
Look at Their Branding Style
The next thing to do is to look at their branding style. What type of colours do they use? What type of graphic design do they use? Is it deliberate or not well thought out? Do they use generic images, animations, graphics or are they using their own images? Is there branding uniformity across all their online platforms i.e from their website to the social media interfaces?
With ReDahlia, we took the time to get the branding right; from our logo, colours, font, communication style, to our website. We make sure everything is in sync and recognizable across the board. This also applies to naming your social media handles.
Do Not Base Your Research On Web Alone
One of the most common mistakes that people make when starting businesses is to base all their research and decisions only on the information they find on the web. It is not enough; you need to be more proactive.
You have to do more work if you want to get useful information. Ask people you know if they have used any of the services of your competitors and get their reviews. You need to physically visit businesses and local stores that are related to your niche. This will help you get a feel of what customers are experiencing with a particular company.
Market Research Help You With Creating The Best Customer Experience
When we were researching ReDahlia Workspaces’ set up, there were some co-working spaces that I visited and knew immediately I would not use even if offered at no fee given the experience I had with their customer service.
I will also share another experience with you. While sourcing for an internet service provider for our space, our web-based research had suggested a particular provider and we had decided to engage this firm. However, we opted out of this prospective engagement because of the customer service meted out by the client service manager.
This business, located in one of the prestigious business districts in Lagos had a client service manager who appeared to lack sufficient corporate etiquette and decorum. It was clear to me as I stood with her that we could not work with such a provider.
What this type of experience does to you is that it helps you decide the type of experience you want your customers to have when you start your business. You will pay attention to customer service because you do not want your clients to have a bad experience with your service.
Note that while people can and will copy your products and services, they cannot copy your customer service. They cannot copy how you make customers feel because that, is ingrained in your culture and DNA. It is in the company’s DNA and should be inculcated by every team member that joins your company.
Read About Businesses in Your Niche
Another good idea is to read books about businesses in your niche. There are books on virtually any topic now. You can find them on Amazon. Books in your niche most times have already done the research for you, you just have to pick up the book and read it.
Market Research Never Ends
Conducting that initial market research will help you build your business and your brand but you have to understand that it is an unending process. You have to continuously research the market to stay relevant to trends in your industry.
You need continued market research to stay competitive with companies that may be getting ahead with their social media strategy. How do you do that? Follow companies in your niche on social media so you can see what they are doing immediately they start doing it. Subscribe to their email list if they have an email list. That way, you see exactly what they are doing, how they are talking to their customers and how they are running their business.
In addition, follow relevant blogs to stay current so you do not become outdated. You need to stay relevant to win this game. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone, come to the Start Your Business in 30 Days program and I will hold your hand as you start your business and conduct market research.
How I Can Work with You to Start Your Side Hustle
If you want to work with me to start a profitable and sustainable business, then enrol in the Start Your Business in 30 Days Program. I will take you from idea to starting your business in 30 days.
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I am an internationally trained award-winning entrepreneur running three profitable businesses and a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council. I help aspiring entrepreneurs start and set up their businesses through my program- Start Your Business In 30 Days.
And, I work with companies and established corporations to scale their impact and revenue. Reach me at Florence@entrepreneurs.ng if you would like to transform your business.