Entrepreneurship 101: Using Market Research as a Business Tool

By the Editors

The startup life certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Starting a business often means working long hours and sacrificing time with friends and family, often for minimal profit at the beginning. Recent data estimates that up to 80% of businesses fail within the first year and a half. While the pressure of entrepreneurship definitely contributes to the high percentage, poor planning does as well. Many business owners start things up without laying out a clear and realistic plan ahead of time. If you’re thinking about starting a business, market research can help you with the planning process. Here are three key questions to consider when getting started.

Is there a market for your product?

You may think you have developed a product that will revolutionize your customers’ lives, but is there a market for it where you live? There’s arguably nothing worse than pouring your heart and soul into a product, and then realizing after you launch that there’s simply no market for what you’re selling. A mobile survey can help you determine whether or not there’s a market for your new product or service before you get further into the launch process. Consider conducting a mobile survey that asks specific questions such as the following.

  • Would you be likely to purchase product/service x?
  • How frequently do you think you’d use the product/service?
  • Would you recommend this to a friend?

Gathering these key details can help you get a better idea of how your new product might fare with potential customers.

Who are your customers?

Speaking of potential customers, how much do you know about your target audience? Do you have an in-depth understanding of basic demographics such as who they are and where they live? How about more complex knowledge related to their buying behaviors and motivations? Market research is a useful tool for developing your customer avatar. Whether you’re interested in identifying simple demographics such as age, sex, and location, or gathering more in-depth information about buying behaviors, a mobile survey can help you learn more about your target audience. When it comes to your customers, the more knowledge you have, the better your business will fare.

Are your products or services priced appropriately?

Too many business owners experience the common pitfall of pricing their products too high or too low from the start. This can be a critical mistake. If you price your products too high, your customers are going to be more likely to shop with a competitor to save some money. Alternatively, if you price them too low, your target audience may perceive your products as being poor quality. So how do you ensure you hit the mark with your pricing? Market research can help you determine how to price your products appropriately vis-à-vis your competitors.

When you’re just starting up a new business and juggling a hundred projects at once, it can be easy to lose your focus and get off-track. After all, one person can only do so much! If you’re an entrepreneur who is in the startup phase, market research can help you refocus your efforts in order to develop a strong plan for your business. Whether you’re interested in learning more about the market, your customers, or determining pricing strategy, a mobile survey can serve as an invaluable tool for your business.

If you’re interested in using market research to support your new startup venture, SSI’s integrated survey, sampling, and analysis platform can help. Contact us today for more information!