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Small Business Ideas

How to Do Market Research of Small Business Ideas

Even though you have a great business idea, you need to make sure there is a market for it. Advisers, like myself, will tell you to do market research but you may wonder how (without hiring a research firm to do sample testing or focus groups for you which can be very expensive). All of these tools allow you, the entrepreneur, the ability to test and research your business idea to see if there is a viable market for it.
Forums. Forums and user groups are far from dead. People are discussing virtually everything on some forum somewhere. You can do a Google search for forums by typing in your topic name (i.e. “business” plus vbulletin plus forums). So, in this instance your search would be business vbulletin forums. Look for forums with lots of activity and then check out some of the most common questions to find what users are looking for.
Twitter search is a phenomenal way to see what’s being discussed in real time. There are a variety of ways and companion sites to do a a search of topics on Twitter. However, I prefer TweetGrid because you can do up to 9 keyword searches at once to monitor conversations on those topics. You can also broadcast questions about a topic to your Twitter followers if you want feedback on a topic.
Do a Facebook search. Facebook now allows a search of topics, though it isn’t as user friendly as Twitter or LinkedIn. You search will bring up people, fan pages, business pages and some status updates. You can search age groups, cities, industries and more.
LinkedIn questions are a great way to see what business people have concerns about. They are divided into topics so you can search more easily. Like forums, if you are scanning for business ideas, check for topics with the most questions. Always be willing to answer a question or two while you are there.
Check out Yahoo Answers. You can expect a hodge podge of questions on Yahoo’s Q&A site, but that can be a good thing depending on your current or potential business. Categories include Arts and Humanities, Computer and Internet, Consumer Electronics and Home and Garden. If you have a product to sell, Yahoo Answers can give you a pretty good cross-section of concerns of the general population.
Create a poll or or survey to investigate ideas. You can add polls/surveys to Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also set up a survey at Survey Monkey and email it to a target group. For small surveys (up to 100 responders, 10 questions on the survey) it is free and goes up from there. Even 10 questions to 100 responders can give you some really solid information to use in developing your business idea.

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Small Business Enterprise – Why You Need to Do Market Research

A small business not only needs to be unique, but also good enough to survive the harsh economic times. Research is the key word in trying to determine the best business idea. Talking to friends, family and other enterprise owners that operate in the line of the idea you have, will prove useful in helping you establish the venture. Family in particular will give you brutal criticism, both positive and negative that will leave you with only fine content.
Talking to potential competitors will give you tips on how to run and manage an enterprise, such that eventually, you will have acquired the necessary knowledge on what you can do. As you come into the business arena, you will be equipped with knowledge and will be better placed to do more than your competitors. To improve your venture even further, you are advised to take up advisory counsel with the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE).
For your enterprise to be good enough, you should also conduct market research. The information you gather from this exercise makes your mind more open and objective to the market trends and happenings. Market research is crucial when coming up with a long-term plan. It also sharpens your skills as far as handling potential and existent clients is concerned. It makes marketing much easier because then, you will know what it is that clients are interested in.
Once you have your idea on paper, try a test run to see how viable it is. A trial run helps you determine the loopholes that are likely to be exhibited in the course of running the enterprise. Do not be intimidated by large corporations that may be in the same line of operation as you. Starting small is a blessing in disguise because you get to learn in small doses.

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The Business

Importance of Marketing Research

So, you have a brilliant idea for a new product and decide to start a business around it. You have been in the industry for years and just know that this is the big breakthrough in the field that will be met with excitement. You have discussed the idea with your family and they all think it is genius and will definitely work. Your friends also support you. You start putting money into product development and finally your “baby” is ready to be introduced to the world. However, the big day comes and your bright invention is not selling to the consumer. What went wrong?
Talking to a group of people was an attempt to collect data in a qualitative manner through an open conversation. The direction was right. However, the mistake lay in the people, whose insights were gathered. Your family and friends are likely to be biased to your own opinion. They heard you talking about the business idea before and might have already accepted your own view that it will succeed. Your focus group participants or online survey respondents should be unbiased and represent the potential customer base for the product being introduced to the market.
One of the biggest and costly mistakes that a business can make is to overlook the important insight from its potential customer. As an expert in the field, your knowledge is only based on the past experience, which might be outdated. What consumers valued in the past might be completely different from what they value now as values themselves are subjective and are time sensitive. Without reaching out to your customer and doing a “reality check”, you might end up relying on data that is no longer valid and make the decision that is inconsistent with consumers’ perception.
Throughout the years, there have been numerous examples of such “great idea” failures. One of such examples is the decision to reinvent a famous soft drink product with a new slogan of “The best just got better” in 1985. The company felt the heat and learned what it is like to disregard the need for consumers’ opinion when the slogan was met with the disappointment and perception of betrayal.
Marketing research is an essential piece that should be considered not only during the startup phase of your business but also as an ongoing practice. After all, the customers are the most essential component to your business and the information about their perception can be detrimental to your business success.
The goal of marketing research is to provide accurate data, upon which important business decisions are made. However, to use this valuable tool, one must have an understanding of the process as well as its limitations. In order to accurately incorporate your customers’ voice in the decision, it is not only important to conduct the research but also assure that the process for it, from defining the research objective to interpreting the obtained information, is carried out without a flaw.

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How to Research Markets for Business Startups – Part 1

Introduction to Market Research
In the world of business, it’s an ever-changing atmosphere that runs constantly hot and cold, habitually black and white, and never completely the same way twice. Today’s business is so far removed from the business of a few years ago that most attempts to start a business with a 2002 formula – for example – unequivocally and utterly fail in the 2008 climate. For this reason, market research is vital if one would hope to find out the crucial aspects of the marketplace that will help a business succeed in the long-term.
It’s essential that a person starting up a business knows if there will be enough demand for their products and/or services in the marketplace. In order to gain the biggest advantage for sustainable success, businesses need to flourish within their first year of operation. Most businesses are failing simply due to a lack of basic market research. It’s this caution-to-the-wind, head-first dive into business that will ensure nothing but failure.
# Market research is also a key component to your business due to the “preemptive” way in which it can be implemented. By using market research to test a new business idea or product before its full-scale release, proprietors can properly gauge the atmosphere and develop a plan for launch. By analyzing other aspects like competitor activity, market research can help paint a clear picture of the current marketplace, thus allowing a niche to be carved out for your new business.
In this guide to market research, you will find answers to some of the most asked questions regarding the marketplace and the idea of conducting thorough research before attempting to solidify a position in the business world. Ways in Which Market Research can Benefit YouDoing a good bit of initial market research is a tremendous step in ensuring your business will succeed. Here are just a few ways in which doing the proper market research can benefit your business:Helps to gauge the marketplace as a whole, or in distinct areas, thus discovering whether or not your business idea is marketable
# Discover the value and also the value of demand for products you’re hoping to sell on the market
# Helps to uncover current marketplace trends which may affect your sector, both now and in the future
# Discover specific information about your target/niche customers, i.e. who they are and where they live, as well as certain aspects like gender, age, employment status, yearly earnings, and buying habits
# Uncover your competition and find out their many strengths and weaknesses in order to formulate a strategy to take over the lion’s share of the marketplace
# Find out whether or not there are potential business partners interested in your particular niche or business
Further Information about Market SectorsIt’s always important to approach market research like a Q & A session. You ask yourself the pertinent questions, and then perform research for the answers. This is especially important to do when it comes to your business idea and market sector.Questions to ask:
# How much of the market share will I have to seize in order to be successful?
# Have I found sufficient demand for the products/services I plan to market?
# Are these (my) types of markets growing or shrinking?
# What are some of the current trends that can help or hurt my business?
# What do the forecasts look like for the next three years or so?
Today’s video is about how you can use to research niche markets.