Whether you’re a recent start-up, your business has been up and running for some time, or you head a huge conglomerate, conducting market research is key to future success and growth within your business. By scrutinising your market, your industry, your potential customers and—perhaps, most importantly—your competition, you will discover what differentiates you from your competition.
Let’s talk about the latter: analysing your competition. You may discover key trends amongst your competitors that you could utilise, you may spot opportunities you’d not thought of and you can create a benchmark to compare your growth against.
They say that eight out of ten businesses fail within their first 18 months, with only one in four of the businesses that do succeed making any profit by year four. This means that the chances of your business growing and succeeding are slim. This is not meant to scare you or have you believe you will fail; that you’re reading this article shows that you want your marketing to be smarter and for it to work better for you. It also shows that you’re willing to learn and adapt what you do, which is great.
When I conduct consultation sessions with my clients I see people reach a point in their business cycle where they simply become stuck. This could be at a turnover of £10,000, £100,000—or even a million-pound business. The reason they get stuck is that they’ve been solely growing the business on their own grit and determination. This is something we undoubtedly need to achieve success, but by looking at other businesses you can learn from what they’re doing; you can apply crucial lessons that may have taken your rivals years to rectify.
By being better informed you’ll more likely make the right choices and decisions, which is why they say ‘knowledge is power’. If you know what has worked for others and what hasn’t, you’ll already be one step closer to knowing what should and shouldn’t work for you.
It’s important that you answer the following questions before starting your business:
Is there a genuine market for your business idea?
How much demand will there be for your product or service?
What trends currently affect your market sector?
Who will buy your product or service?
Who will you be competing against, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
Are there any potential business partners you could collaborate with?
Try to go into as much detail as you can. These questions will form the basis of your market research, as well as your competitor analysis and your own internal marketing audit.
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