Knowledge is power. Most of us are so familiar with this old saying that it’s become something of a cliché. But the reality is that achieving success at any business, no matter how big or how small, will depend on our willingness to learn and do the necessary research.
Market research, especially, is something every potential new online business owner must become intimately familiar with. Market research, for the purpose of our context, refers to getting to know the market. This means starting with the bare basics, i.e., knowing whether there are enough customers interested in your intended line of products and/or services, knowing your competition, and having a clear idea about what it is you’d like to achieve.
Here’s how to get started.
In order to have a business objective, it is necessary to first figure out what it is you actually need to know to begin with.
It is said that data is the new oil, but there’s no use having all the data in the world at your disposal if you’re not going to apply that data in a sensible and relevant way. For example, when formulating your objectives, ask yourself the following:
- How often can I expect to sell my product?
- When I make a sale, how much of my product can I anticipate to sell?
- How would my competition respond to questions above?
Know Your Competitors
Knowing your competitors, that is to say who they are, the types as well as the quality of the products they’re offering, the prices they’re offering those products at, etc., will help you make whatever it is that you’re offering, stand out from the crowd.
Being aware of not only your own strengths and weaknesses, but also those of your competitor, will help you take advantage of those weaknesses by improving on whatever it is that you’ve got to offer the common market.
Questions you should be asking:
Being relevant in business means knowing exactly who it is you’re trying to sell to. Think about it: if your business is a home improvements business, what sense would it make to advertise on a website or at an expo focusing on investing in the stock market? Always remember that being “relevant” is the number one golden rule of thumb.
Be creative when trying to figure out what it is you need to know about your business and your target audience (customers). This may mean looking from the outside in and think about what would make them register right here or buy your brand. Imagine yourself to be the type of customer your business might be interested in serving or supplying. Now imagine the standards you would expect in your position as the customer.
Challenge yourself by thinking above and beyond what and how everybody else may be thinking about business, products, pricing, customer service, etc. Your creative edge and special way of looking at things may just be what ends up setting your apart from the crowd.