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Why should a small business conduct market research?

Market research is one of the most useful tools that a business can use to further develop the way it understands customers and maximises the potential for profit and growth. It’s essential for businesses of all sizes and benefits everyone from small start-ups through to multinationals, paving the way for data-led success.

So why exactly should you do market research? Surely, if you have a product that you know is in great demand that should be enough? The truth is that having a fantastic product or service is not a guarantee of success without first knowing why you offer this product, and who you are offering it to. To help break things down for you, here are some examples as to how market research can help your business grow.

Beating the competition

As part of any market research, looking into what your competitors are doing is often a good place to start. By checking them out you can spot potential opportunities or gaps in your own service that you can fill – for example they may be offering certain promotions or sales that you hadn’t considered, or have a better online presence. Competitor analysis also works the other way – if you are offering something they are not, it may be an opportunity to develop this offering further and really amplify your unique offering through some simple marketing. A good way to start is to research them online and get to know their offerings a bit better and take things from there.

Knowing your consumer

Market research gives you a great chance to know your most important stakeholder all the better – your customer. Having a great product is not enough in an age of information and digital capability as competitors will always find ways to steal your market share. Focus on really getting to know your consumers – what they want, when they want it and how they want it. This can be achieved by asking your existing customers a series of questions about your product and how happy they are with its delivery and performance. Come to understand your target demographics better by putting yourself in their shoes – how are they most likely to find your product? Are there any industry publications that you can form partnerships with?

Getting it right from the beginning

If you are launching a product or service, getting it off to the strongest start possible will be at the top of your short-term objectives. Depending on how far along you are in the development process, researching all of the basics as you go along is an efficient way to do this. Think about the marketing strategy that you want to have in place and see if you can find any others that have used this strategy to see how successful they’ve been. Would people like the name of the service or product? The way it looks? What about the logo? Having everything laid out in front of you will go a long way to helping the launch of a new product, service or business ensuring it has the best chance for success.

Find out how the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire can support your business by visiting our 'Services' page.

This article first appeared on the British Library’s Business & IP Centre website: View.


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