Top to Market Research Your Home Business

Reasons to market research your business should be obvious,but many companies just don’t bother. Conducting market research should not just be a one-off activity that you carry out before launching your business. It is a useful tool throughout your business’s life-cycle which will see you keeping up or ahead of market trends, knowing your business inside and out and will help in maintaining that competitive edge, which will of course will result in more success.

Many small businesses falter due to a lack of market research because they just don’t find the demand for their product nor do they investigate opportunities or threats or take a moment to learn about consumer opinion. Don’t be one of them.

Carve time out to conduct research; it’s vital whether you’re a new business to the market or an established on-going concern.

Here are six key reasons to market research your business I think will help you conduct your home-business research more effectively

  1. To identify and establish just who your target customer/client is

You should explore who is going to buy from you. Look at how much they will be willing to spend on your product/service, where they live, whether they are male or female and how old they might be. Determine whether they have children, what their interests are and gather facts and data to build up a mental image in your mind (and on paper) of who your specific customer is.

  1. Look at who your existing customer base is

If you’re an established business take a look at why your existing customers buy from you. Why do they prefer your business and your products/services to your competitors and what do you offer that is different? Research thoroughly into who influences your customer’s purchasing decision, what they like about you and your business, investigate how they initially found out about you and what marketing channels they prefer to be communicated through. This will ensure that you can create targeted and cost-effective marketing plans which will give you the best return for your money.

  1. Develop your business strategy

If you research well you’ll be in the perfect position to set business targets, goals and objectives for both your short and long-term business plans. The research will ensure that they are targeted, relevant and realistic.

All important marketing decisions can be made about the price of your product/service, the location of your business, distribution method of product, the marketing channels you select (e.g. web, social media, direct mail, advertising) and the marketing messages you choose (what you say to your customer/potential customer).

As your business life-cycle continues, the market research will help you to make informed decisions about whether to consolidate, expand, diversify or even reduce certain business activities. It really is a useful tool.

  1. Identifying business opportunities

Your market research will be useful in establishing new business opportunities which you may otherwise never learn of or just miss. It will also help you to establish whether these opportunities are ones to develop or to avoid completely; it simply helps you to make informed decisions. You may discover changing trends in the marketplace, higher demand for certain goods or a change in the population’s circumstance that creates a perfect business opportunity for you. For example, an economic downturn may inhibit your ability to generate sales of certain goods because of limited spending, but may be an opportunity to increase sales of value for money items or much wanted products.

  1. Exploring business problems

It’s not just the positives that research can highlight or the opportunities that it can emphasise, but can help with solutions to business issues too. If you know there is a problem within your business, your sales, your product or team then conducting research will assist you in finding out more and will help you to select the best solutions.

  1. Expansion

Market research is really the only way ahead if you’re thinking of expanding your business. It will help you to look in-depth at your company and identify the right areas which are ready for an expansion plan. It will also help determine the best paths to success. For example, you may be a home-based business which decides to change your location and distribution to an office or a warehouse site to be able to increase production, capacity or capabilities.

 

Jon Watwood

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