Whatever your business it will only succeed if customers like your product or service and are prepared to give you money in exchange. People rarely buy things just for the sake of owning them; they buy things to enable them to do the things they want to do to fulfil their needs.
That is why it is important to undertake thorough market research and to assess the results of that market research carefully. Do not get overly carried away with your enthusiasm - see things as they are, not as you would like to see them. Before launching a new product or service you need to be able to:
- define your position in the market place
- define your product or service
- identify your potential customers, their needs and
- determine the price your customers will be prepared to pay
- identify the level of quality and service your customers require
- describe your competitors, what they offer and their strengths and weaknesses
- describe how best to communicate your message to your prospective customers
- decide where your advertising campaign should be conducted
- and, estimate your potential market share
The more detailed your market research the sounder, more reliable the rest of your business planning will be. Market research identifies customer potential. Take time to do it properly and repeat it until you get results that are reliable. Remember, by finding out what customers want and then providing them with it at a profit, your chances of success are vastly increased.
Many Shell LiveWIRE members 'test the water' of their new business ideas by posting links to short online surveys or polls on our Discussion Forum - a great way to gather information and feedback quickly and easily.