Setting up a new business or making an already established business successful is not an easy task. There are several things that go into making a business besides the product or service offered, the staff/employees, marketing/advertising and understanding customer and industry play an important role in the businesses success.
One of the most important things that many people tend to overlook is market research. Like we mentioned in one of our previous articles, “How to conduct market research” it is important to understand what customers want and what they expect from a business. However, if you are not able to determine what works or don’t work for customers it can leave the business owner feeling confused and lost among all its competition.
Just randomly conducting market research is not always enough to help make a business successful. There is a lot of planning that should be done in order to make it as successful as can be. Identifying and targeting the right group of people for research and asking the right type of questions will help in the collect information for analytics to help further.
This article talks about key steps that can be taken to make market research successful.
One of the first things to do when doing market research is to talk to the target audience and vendors who may be dealing with the competitors. Both these group of people can give vital information about what works in the market and what is disliked by the people if they are asked the right kind of questions. Ask the customers questions about what they like in a particular product that they are already using, what they don’t like about it or how they like would to see it changed. When talking to the vendors find out what may be the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors and why people buy or use their products or services. Keeping a database of all the information collected and analyzing it will help in identifying market trends and creating the product or service around these trends.
Everybody is on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter nowadays. Businesses can make good use of social media sites to collect information about what people like. Questions can be posted on community forums or discussions can be started on related groups about the product or service that the company offers. These discussions and forums can give valuable information about the experience of customers if they have used a similar product or service or a competitor’s product or service in the past. This information can help in making tweaks or changes in the product or business process according to what appeals to the customer.
It is natural for business owners to have a bias towards their product or service because they work so closely with it. As a result, sometimes, the flaws in the product may go unnoticed. If launched as is, the business runs the risks of the product getting rejected straight away by the customers. One way of avoiding such a situation is to look into past public records and see if there are any complaints or grievances by customers who have used similar products or services. This information will not only help correct any flaws but will also help business owners avoid any problems or mistakes in the future.
One effective way to determine what is going on in the market would be to take the place of the customer. Visiting stores in case of a retail business or sending inquiries to competitors in case of services can give vital information about how competitors deal with customers, what they do right or wrong. This information can be very useful in understanding how to deal with customers and enquiries.
Market research involves collecting and analyzing a lot of data and information. Many times business owners, especially ones who have small businesses may not have enough time to devote to the research considering the number of things that they need to handle. Even if there is time, it may not be advisable for the people who are completely involved in the business to conduct the market research because there could be a bias towards the product or service. As a result it can get difficult for business owners to accept the information that comes out of the research. In such situations, ignoring the research can become very easy. When a company from outside, like HMS, is hired to do market research for a particular business, there will not be any bias and will be able to analyze the information collected objectively. Also, since the company will have people who are specifically trained to collect information and analyze it, the methods used will ensure that the market research is successful thereby ensuring that the business is in sync with the market trends and changes.
Let HMS partner with your business to help make your market research successful.