Make sure that business research is part of your plan. Here are 5 easy business research methods that are perfect for small businesses.
Large corporations spend million on business research in the form of television ads, surveys, and focus groups. Their overall goal is to better understand the market they’re in. For any business to be successful, this investment has become a necessity. So, what are small businesses supposed to do? They have a limited budget, yet they are still supposed to do this kind of research before starting their business.
First of all, businesses that skip research are putting everything at risk. They have to rely on luck to be successful. If you plan to rely on luck, you might as well take a trip to a casino and bet all of your money on a Hard Eight. On the other hand, if you want to follow the example set by just about every highly successful entrepreneur, then you should make sure that business research is part of your plan.
Here are 5 easy business research methods that are perfect for small businesses.
#1: Interview Yourself
This should be the first step when starting your business. It’s the most important part of the entire process. Before you start formulating a plan to get your business rolling, you need to interview yourself. The idea is to set business goals.
- How much money can I budget every month to invest in my idea?
- How much will it cost to start this business?
- How much will I need to earn in order to achieve my financial goals?
#2: Interview Potential Customers Directly
Small businesses have a major advantage over large corporations. They can take the time to directly interact with their customers. Once you have defined a target market, reach out to them directly.
- What makes your product/service valuable?
- What other options will your target market have to choose from?
- What sets your product/services apart from others?
- How much is your target market willing to pay?
Your main goal is to analyze your target market to see how you can improve your business.
#3: Set Up Some Online Surveys
This is one of the best business research methods for small businesses, but it does cost money. Find an online survey company and create a survey that will help fine-tune your idea. You can also use social media to reach your market, which is actually the best option but small businesses will probably not have enough followers to get everything they need directly from social media.
#4: Join Online Groups
Create a list of potential online groups that are related to your business. Then join at least five of them. This is a time-consuming activity, but it will provide small businesses with two important experiences. Online groups are a great way to run ideas by like-minded people, but their best lesson is that they teach small business owners how to network – a skill that’s essential to growth.
#5: Put Together a Focus Group
I saved the best for last because this is the most effective form of marketing for small business owners, but it is usually the final step they take before graduating from small business owner to successful entrepreneur. Gather a group of prospects and spend time bouncing ideas off of them. Sure, this method costs more than everything mentioned in this post. It also takes the most commitment. But once you are at the stage where you can put together a focus group, then you’re ready to move into big time business.
Small businesses should never underestimate the power of business research. Remember, every business starts somewhere but the ones that are the most knowledgeable usually have the highest level of success.
About the author
Jacob Haneyis a content marketer presently working withResearch Optimus, a business research outsourcing company. A writer by day and a reader by night, heis loathedto discuss himself in the thirdpersonbut can be persuaded to do so from time to time.