You finally decided this is the year to make the dream of launching your business a reality! You’re most likely creating a checklist of all the things that you need to do in order to make this happen. Your list probably looks like this:
- Create a website
- How do I promote it?
- Where should I go to find potential customers?
…and the list goes on with a variety of tasks that you need to complete in order to get this thing off the ground. When you review your completed list the initial excitement you felt is probably starting to turn into a mix of overwhelm, nervousness and panic. You’re left wondering, “I hope my efforts aren’t going to be in vain.” You decide to take the leap anyway and start checking off the items on your business to do list. I can guarantee that you forgot to include one of the most important tasks off of your list. Market research. It never ceases to amaze me how many people leap into business without doing their homework. Some of you may be rolling your eyes, while others may be wondering, “What is that?” Now, don’t get me wrong, there will always be people who are lucky enough to make it without taking this step, but I’m not the gambling type. If I’m going to devote my precious time, money and effort into an activity, you best believe I’m going to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure that it is worthwhile. Now, unless you’re an analytics geek like me, the thought of market research may make you feel like this: If you feel like this, please bear with me. I’m going to give you the Cliffsnotes version of why market research is the FIRST thing that needs to appear on your list. If you’re trying to start your business on a shoestring budget, market research will reduce the risks of you being included in the number of businesses that fail. Taking the time to learn more about your industry and your audience’s likes and dislikes will place you in a position to accurately anticipate what “gaps” can be satisfied by your company. Regardless of what market research technique you decide to use, all of them require you to adjust your mindset so you can embrace the following (please note this can be applied to products or services):
Run your race at your pace
In order to create new market space, you cannot think like your competition. You must believe that you have the power to shape the industry instead of adhering to the traditional standards of having the industry determine your market strategy. Often times other companies will rely on traditional marketing methods to sell their products or services. Companies will choose their target market, which simultaneously determines their competition. Competitors and companies will then attempt to differentiate their product by adding more features while the price for the product drops. Therefore, organizations’ prices are decreasing while costs are increasing. Once you start competing on price, it will be a race to the bottom. Not sure about you, but that’s one race I don’t to win…
Think beyond your current situation
Many companies base their strategies on what equipment, service, etc. they have available to them. This drastically limits organizations’ abilities to be creative because they are confining the organization into a box that they will never get out of unless they are allowed to freely express their ideas. This enhances the opportunity of coming up with original ideas which otherwise might not have been presented.
Focus on likes instead of dislikes
It is easier to focus on what consumers WANT instead of what they do not. By focusing on commonalities, organizations can save money by eliminating non-essential preferences while simultaneously pleasing consumers by elevating the performance or creating new desired preferences.
A product is a bundle of attributes
Products can be used to depict a collection of attributes. For example, something as basic as a pen can be reduced into various features such as color, length, brand, price, grip etc. The combinations of these elements comprise a pen that is used by numerous people. An organization must also take into consideration psychological features. Psychological features of a pen would be image and quality. All psychological features can be independently analyzed.
Altering attributes produces a new product
If products are a compiled of attributes, then you must agree that by changing an attribute(s) you have essentially created a new product. People purchase products by evaluating the attributes that best fit the particular product they need. For example, if I changed the length of my pen, I would have two different products despite the fact the other attributes remain the same. By changing the attribute of length, I have catered to another set of consumers; thus increasing my target market.
Master Your Niche
You already won half the battle if you’re able to embrace these concepts. Learning how and when to implement them is where most people start to run into trouble. I want to help you avoid this experience which is why I created the Master Your Niche course. This course covers a variety of topics such as helping you determine your niche, how to create new market space in a saturated industry, etc. Gain the skills you need to leap with confidence by learning how to perfect your ability to connect with your audience using market research. Be sure to sign up for the course by clicking here. Don’t forget to download your free market research data checklist (just click on the below picture or here). You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by checking out the course. See you soon!