When starting a business it is advisable to research your target market. It’s important and also completely free to ask questions, so ask a lot of them. It is often the case that fledgling business owners will overlook some of the most obvious ways of researching their new market.
The following questions will help give you an idea about the kind of thing that you should be asking. The answers you receive will act as useful feedback to help you make a more informed decision as to the best way to move your business idea forward.
Your Product/ Service
Would you buy your own product? What would you be willing to pay for it and where would you seek out this product or service? Would you come back for more? All these are valuable questions and will help you understand your potential customers. After considering whether you would buy it, ask whether they will buy it? This is where a good bit of market research will come in handy, approach the type of people who would be interested in your goods and gauge their reaction.
Crucial questions to ask are that of your competitors. Who else offers what you intend to provide? For how much? Look at their current business model and see how they trade, advertise and where are they located in what premises. It is best to investigate who is the top dog within your market. Workout why they are so successful? Decide whether you could provide a better service, if you think you can then it looks a promising business to move into.
If you cannot find any competition, move forward cautiously. Unless you’ve just created a brand new invention and are aware why there is no competition, that’s fine. A word of warning, no competitors can often mean that there is no market.
On the ground
Get out on foot and visit many different locations where you think your new business could perhaps prosper. Pretend to be a potential customer and ask about the market within the area. There is nothing wrong with checking out your competitors by posing as a customer. This will give you an insight into the current service standard being provided. Also ask how you would improve upon the current methods out there. The more questions you can ask strangers the better.
A good amount of feedback is great for making sure you make the right decision.
One final point to consider is to trust your instinct. Does your business idea feel right? If you have some doubts, return to drawing board and work around any issues until you are completely happy with your business plan.