Market Research Advice for Small Businesses

Before investing any money on developing or advertising a new product or service, it is essential to establish if anyone wants it!

By conducting research into your target market enables you to test your idea, evaluate the competition and check to make sure your idea is viable. 

We walk you through some key advice pointers:

Your Customers

If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t market to them!

The likelihood is that you have different sets of customers, and to find out who they are, think about these questions:

  • Who is currently buying similar products and services to your offerings?
  • Visualise a picture of each of your ideal target customers, and these can be based on specifics like: age, gender, job role, likes, dislikes, hobbies, behaviours, and so on.
  • Which needs or problems will your products or services solve for each of your customer types?
  • Do you think your customer types will be interested in paying for the products and services you are offering?

Unique Selling Point

USP, for short.

Think long and hard about what sets you apart from the businesses selling similar products and services.

Think about:

  • What does my product or service provide that is better than anything else available?
  • How can I go the extra mile to make sure my customers have the best user experience?
  • Is my product or service required by the general public, or is it more of a niche market?
  • Can my product or service solve my customer’s problems in a way that’s never been done before?
  • How is my product or service easier to use than that of my competitors?
service quality efficiency reliability customer

Money, Money, Money

Once you have established that there are customers for your products or services, you then need to find out how much to charge.

Think about:

  • What prices are being charged for similar products and services by your competitors?
  • Ask potential customers how much they would be willing to pay.
  • Could you offer discounted packages of products?
  • Try some either/or questions with different customer types to find out what your product or service is actually worth.
  • Once you have decided on a pricing structure, ensure that your business idea is still viable.

Overall Tips for Small Business Success

  • Make good use of customer surveys to establish honest opinions.
  • Surveys and questionnaire can be carried out simply and cheaply using online platforms like Mailchimp, Survey Monkey and social media.
  • All answers should offer a score or opinion – rather than a yes or no.
  • All questions should be clear and concise.
  • Ask a reasonable number of people to get a better perspective.
  • Be realistic and remember that people don’t always say what they feel.
  • Get qualitative data that involve thoughts and feelings.
  • Get quantitative data that involve facts and figures that can be measured.

Market research isn’t a one and done approach.

It should be done continually. Once you become established in a market, your competitors will look to copy and improve on what you are doing to reclaim their lost market share.

By regularly testing and researching your market, and adapting your products in light of any feedback, you should always stay one step ahead. 

If you need some new ways to get your business marketed, have you considered a leaflet campaign, or perhaps placing an ad in a local, reputable business directory? Happily enough, you are in the right place for both!