I can’t believe that it is Rimu Marketing’s 2nd Birthday! I have learnt so much along the way and had the pleasure to meet with so many amazing and fantastic inspirational businesses, this got me thinking. When I was trying to decide what I would do to celebrate 2 yrs of Rimu Marketing I was trying to think of something that would be useful for my clients. I regularly meet small businesses who are starting out or are presented with some business challenges they need help with, Market Research will enable them to re-evaluate what they are doing and help provide direction. So I thought I would write myself a letter 2 years ago with some points that I wish I had know then, here goes . . . .
Dear Small Business Owner
Firstly, congratulations on taking that first VERY brave step of setting up your own business, boy is that a scary step. It WILL be worth it. Not only will you have the flexibility of choosing your hours and working around your family or personal commitments but also your clients too. You are in control of your own destiny!
Be patient, with passion, hard work and commitment your business will be successful. Try to get the balance right, from the beginning be clear on what hours you wish to work and work within those hours, whilst hard work and dedication is essential to success, don’t do too much, too quickly.
There is a great support network out there, go and meet people, fill up your diary with network events, and start to tell people about your business, the passion will shine through. Some great ones are: Business Biscotti, Fabulous Women, Maidenhead Business Girls, the local Chamber of Commerce plus many more, it is a question of finding the one which works best for you and your business.
Make allowances to buy in expert help that you need, whether that is Accountant or Marketing knowledge, enabling you to focus on doing what you love best and what fuels your passion.
Conducting Market Research can be highly beneficial for a small/ medium size business. Why? Because it can help you to find the quickest route to success for a particular challenge, or if you are just starting out to ensure you have a viable business opportunity. Read on to learn “What is market research?” how to do it well and what the best online tools are for helping you understand your audience.
What types of market research are there?
There are numerous ways of gathering data about your target audience and existing customer base, however, these are the methods I find to be the most insightful.
- Focus groups why not invite a group of customers, friends or prospective customers to attend a meeting to discuss or trial your products, e-commerce offering, their opinion on the competition, etc..
- Interviews, by phone or face to face (pre-agreed with existing customers or prospective customers, to ensure their full attention and commitment).
- Surveys and questionnaires why not send out a questionnaire by email to quickly clarify a need or answer a question.
What are the benefits of market research?
Market research should be conducted before launching a new business venture, but also regularly along your small business’s journey. It can help you:
- Find out whether you are meeting your customers’ needs.
- Find out what your audience thinks about your competition and the industry/marketplace in general.
- Identify areas for improvement.
- Save time and money by taking the quickest route to success.
- Develop your product offering.
- Think critically beyond your own opinions.
How much does market research cost?
It is always advisable to commit some budget to gathering your own data, rather than relying on research found online. This is called primary data, and it will provide you with the most relevant, true and tailored-to-you picture of the market place you work within. With this in mind, your best bet could be to use the services of a market research professional, such as Rimu Marketing. However, some online market research tools are simple to get to grips with, and can even be free to use. My top picks include:
- Survey Monkey – free online questionnaire and survey tool, which helps you “make better decisions”. It’s the leading platform of its kind, so why not check it out here?
- Google Analytics – once your website it up and running, use this tool to identify where your traffic and business leads are coming from http://www.google.com/analytics/
- Customer Thermometer – if you have one key issue to research – and your audience is generally time-poor – then this tool can help http://www.customerthermometer.com/
- Qualtrics –an incredibly easy yet in-depth software solution that can help you manage your entire customer experience http://www.qualtrics.com/
- Fluid Surveys – recently became part of the Survey Monkey family, but also provides more in-depth, premium market research solutions as extra-cost options https://fluidsurveys.com/
But most of all enjoy what you do!
For more information about using market research to help establish or grow your business, email Sophie at email@example.com