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How To Conduct A Market Research

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How do you know if the market is ready for your offering?  What are some of the things to consider before conducting a market research? How do you know if your venture will become profitable?

If you are asking any of the above questions because you are about to start a new business or are about to add a new line of product/service to your existing business, I want to announce to you that you are “smarter” than 90% of small business owners.  That alone puts you at a vantage point for success!

I have pioneered several small ventures in the past and effortlessly ran many to the ground all because I failed to conduct a market research.  Let me make a confession – back then, I didn’t even know what a market research was let alone conduct one.  I always thought, if a business idea came to my head and it sounded good to me – all I needed was just to get some capital and boom the business is set rolling.  While I have had some ventures succeed using this method, it often times led to frustration and disappointing results.  But now, I know better so I act better.

Now, let’s get to the real thing here.  What exactly is a market research?  When I first heard the phrase “market research” several years ago, I just assumed it must involve a lot of work and that it wasn’t meant for small businesses like mine.  The word “research” was probably my biggest “turnoff” because it sounded like a lot of work.

Market research (in my own words) is the process of finding out if the your product/service is marketable.  In other words, to find out if there’s a true need for your services and if the need is so strong to the point that people are willing to buy from you.  If you need another way to describe it, just say it’s a way to project if your business will be profitable.

WHY MARKET RESEARCH?

Let’s face it – it’s not a good place to be when you have a product/service no one wants to buy. That spells doom!  A beautiful product or an excellent service does not guarantee that your business will be successful.  So it is in your best interest to conduct your due diligence prior to starting.  A market research helps to shed light into your ideas and spurs your creativity.

HOW TO CONDUCT A MARKET RESEARCH?

There are several ways of conducting a market research to test viability of your products/service.  For the purpose of this article, I have highlighted some basic ways of conducting a market research below.
Use a questionnaire: a questionnaire is a simple yet effective way to determine viability of your idea.  A good questionnaire should contain simple questions with multiple choices so you make it attractive for people to show willingness in filling it out honestly.
Model the product: another way of going about it is by modeling the products yourself or using other people.  If you generate at least 20% interest as a result of modeling then your idea is viable. Please note that when you are using the modeling option, you should use professional pictures taken by a photographer.
Ask Ask Ask: your current customers, friends, neighbors, strangers or people in your surroundings are a great source of information.   Ask good questions so you can get good answers.  Most people are nice and are ready to give you good answers if you use the right approach.

If you follow these simple suggestions, it will not only save you a whole lot of money but it will also open your eyes to things you might not have previously thought of or other ideas you arte yet to explore.

What other ways do you think a market research can be done? What methods have you adopted in the past?  Leave a comment below and share your ideas with others.

Are you an aspiring or current business owner who live in Nigeria? Join us on March 19 at a city near you for our quarterly networking event themed “Be Empowered. View registration details here.

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One Comment

  • avatar
    Beatrice Adeleke-Asalu
    February 29, 2016

    Thank you so much for this write up. I’m currently at a cross road with my business plan due to this question. I hope this tip will help me out to move forward.

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