Why market research is important for soloists and small businesses.

MRSM

Market research is a vital tool for all businesses great and small.   However it is often over looked by small business owners, and soloists.    Mostly due to the cost, many do not have the resources required to hire an outside agency or the time to do it themselves.  However consider some of the potential costs of not investing.

  1. Not getting finance – This is especially critical for those first starting out or looking to expand.   In order to secure finance your bank manager will want to see proof that your plans are feasible.  If you are an entrepreneur with a great idea for a new product or service, doing market research will tell you whether there is any demand for your product or service, as it is or, if there are any changes you need to make.
  2. Cost per client acquisition will be higher – By researching your target customers to find out who they are and where they live, what media they consume  and what need your product fulfills  you will know how to target them more precisely rather than just advertising across a number of media sources and hoping for the best.
  3. Lack of understanding about what your customer wants or needs – Customers’ needs and wants are always evolving, and if we are not keeping up with the current fads then we leave our customers vulnerable to be poached by the competition.

Once you are set up and running successfully, you need to do market research among your customers to ensure you keep them happy.  By checking in with your customers regularly you will quickly discover

  1. If you need to change anything in your service offering – A customer may not tell you if they are unhappy with any part of your service, or if a competitor is doing something better, they may just leave.   A short satisfaction questionnaire will quickly reveal any weaknesses that need to be addressed.
  2. Whether you need to add products or services – Your customers can tell you which products or services they need to shop elsewhere for because it is not part of your offering.  Imagine you are a software developer and your customers said “Your product is great but I wish it could do X Y and Z”.  You now know how to add value to your product.
  3. How to target new customers more successfully – By understanding your own customers, you will find out who your product appeals to and why.  This will tell you how to reach new customers.

Market research is an integral part of any business no matter what its size to ensure continued success.   It helps you keep in touch with your customers and stay on top of their ever changing needs and desires.

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