The success of a new business venture solely depends upon understanding your potential customers’ buying behavior and the market trends. Even if you are running a topnotch brand, before launching a new project you need to conduct research to see how promising it seems to your prospective customers. Research also gives you an opportunity to improve your product/service. Though market research generally requires material resources and it can turn out to be an expensive activity, there are a few smart inexpensive ways that you can utilize to measure the odds of success for your upcoming business venture. Have a look!
Identify your Target Audience and Observe their Trends
The first step towards conducting research for a new business idea/product is to identify your target audience. Start off with your existing customers and observe their buying behavior and preferences based on sales records. You can then add more potential customers to your study, the ones who are likely to buy your product. Another way of knowing your customers better is through demographics and psychographics. For instance, if you have a clothing business and you are about to launch a new affordable kids wear brand, you can start off by identifying and observing preferences of your existing clientele, couples who shop from you. Then you can add the customers who look for kids clothing deals online. You can further expand your research by studying the buying behavior of shoppers with toddlers and kids who have an average income.
Effectively Engage your Potential Customers through Various Mediums
After you have identified your potential customers, you need to communicate with them to see if your business idea generates interest. While this may turn out to be a challenging endeavor, you need to interact with different customers using different mediums in order to have substantial research. For instance, you can use live chat for customers who prefer online communication, are tech savvy and prefer detailed discussions. For customers who can spare time for face to face interaction, you should meet them and conduct an interview to understand their expectations and evaluate the prospects of your new business project.
Use Short, Simple and Responsive Surveys
Surveys have always been a popular research tool. However, in order to make your potential customers respond to them honestly, you need to keep these simple, short and interesting. While designing questions for a survey, make sure to avoid confusing questions. Some open ended questions should also be used in surveys as they provide the opportunity to respondents to express their opinions explicitly. Moreover, do not include more than 5-10 questions in the survey. Giving an incentive to fill in the survey is likely to get you more responses. However, you do not necessarily have to give away pricey items to the survey respondents. If for example, you are launching a new anti-aging products’ brand, you can give away sachets of your new products or your existing top sellers to the participants. You can hold a contest as well, where you can give away winner dine out coupons or an outfit from a popular brand.
Focus Groups can help you get Timely and Genuine Feedback
Though conducting research through focus groups is expensive, you can ask a group of acquaintances or friends to be a part of it who have exactly the same demographics and psychographics as your target audience. The greatest advantage of using focus groups for business research is that you are likely to get timely and real responses, moreover you can observe the body language and expressions of the respondents. This makes it a very reliable form of research. Devise a simple set of questions for the focus group. Keep the emphasis on how appealing your business idea is to the respondents, analyze the feedback critically and highlight the positive and negative responses. See how you can improve the negatives and while devising your marketing strategy use the positive ones incisively to grab attention of your prospective customers.
Study your Competitors and Learn from their Success and Failures
Learning from the success and failures of your competitors’ is yet another great way of research. You can study the loopholes of why a competitor failed to pitch an idea or the reasons why a brand did so well. Case studies have always been a popular form of research and they prove really worthwhile in giving you a thorough insight about what you should and should not be doing. If for instance, you are preparing to open a small coffee place as an extension to your restaurant, you should have a look at successful competitor restaurants that have coffee houses along with them. Evaluate why the customers keep coming back to them. Also evaluate failures of restaurants and avoid making those mistakes.