HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA13 Nov 2015
Between scribbling your brilliant startup idea on a tissue to actually starting your own business, there is one important process that you need to do to ensure whether your idea is indeed brilliant or not – Market Research. The potential market for your business idea is the pool of consumers who have a need for your product or service and would consider paying for it. Your research should either give you the information you need to go ahead with the idea, tweak it or take it back to the ideation stage. Market research will help you determine the market for your product. Also, the process will yield valuable information about your customers that will help you fine-tune your ideas.
What can market research help you determine?
Types of market research
1. Primary Market Research
Primary market research is used to uncover original data. There are two types of Primary Market Research:
Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research, used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons and opinions. It provides insights into the problem or helps develop ideas for potential quantitative research. It is also used to uncover trends in thoughts and motivations, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods include focus groups, individual interviews, and participation/observations.
Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into statistics. It is used to quantify defined variables like attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and generalize results from a larger sample population. It uses measurable data to uncover patterns in research. Quantitative data collection methods are much more structured than Qualitative data collection methods. Some methods are various forms of surveys – online surveys, paper surveys, mobile surveys, website interceptors, online polls, and systematic observations.
2. Secondary market research
Secondary market research is desk research. It involves processing data that has been collected by someone else. This type of market research may involve studying anecdotal data that is available through other sources such as reports and the press or accessing commercially available data through market research reports or through the Internet. Secondary research is usually less expensive and quicker to obtain than primary research. Startups that use secondary research have to weigh this against the fact that the data is collected for another purpose, which could influence its relevance and value to your specific purpose.
ZenParent, founded in August 2014, is an online parenting resource for new-age Indian parents. It provides personalized, curated and timely information in the form of child development articles, parenting and childcare tips. Through its website and mobile application, ZenParent offers answers to parenting queries and offers insights on personality, interests and life skills of children, latest child-related events, special recipes, book recommendations and movie/ TV show reviews. The founders came up with the idea of ZenParent when they realized that children and parents needed a localized support structure. Safety concerns for children are constantly increasing, and they wanted to address this problem and come up with possible solutions.
Initially, they were focused on creating a smart watch-like product to help parents locate their child, and receive notifications regarding their whereabouts. Through market research and customer interaction, they found that the larger issue seemed to be, that parents felt inadequately prepared for parenting in the age of the Internet. Based on the findings of their research, they decided to focus on this fundamental problem, the pertinent need for quality content and guidance for parents, instead of building a tracking device.
They started with secondary research, primarily on the Internet. Then they moved on to primary research. A focus group was used and they studied the results. The research helped to further refine the consumer base based on various parameters like location, finances, personal preferences, etc. The ZenParent team has since spoken to a number of parents, and their product has undergone many iterations. Zenparent is predominantly social media driven. Customer feedback is at the core of its development. Understanding what the customer wants is key and adapting to the needs of the customer will determine how successful your business will be.
Good research does not need to be expensive
Startups often skim over the market research part because it can seem daunting and expensive. Be determined about getting it done. Be open to harsh feedback, it’ll help you grow. Do not rely solely on secondary research just because it’s easy. It doesn’t give you the full picture, as the information obtained might be outdated. You might miss out on crucial factors that could be very specific to what you’re trying to build. If you are starting a business in a previously untapped market, you simply must go the primary market research route. You can do quality market research even on a small budget. All you have to do is be creative, resourceful, and also a little bit brave.
Research Enables Critical Decision Making
The Market research part comes before the selling part. It teaches what you will need to know to develop your idea for the market and whether your idea is even worth developing in the first place.
Once you research your idea thoroughly, You’ll be able to decide on which market segment to target, you’ll know who your potential customers are and can then work on ways to approach them. Understanding how the market works and what the customer wants is the key. After all, the customer is always right. Know your market and identify where to focus your efforts.