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How to Study Your Target Market

<p>Have you been dreaming of starting your own business for a while now? Is it the fear of failure that keeps you from taking the plunge? How can you make sure you are going to succeed? Have you thought about studying the market to see if your business idea is viable and thus put all the odds on your side? This research can give insight into your industry and the opportunities that are there. Let&#39;s take a closer look.</p> <h3><strong>&nbsp;What is Market Research?</strong></h3> <p>&nbsp;Despite what some may think, market research is not just a piece of paper that has information about potential customers. It&#39;s a comprehensive job that can give you a helping hand in starting your business and finding investments. For example, if you apply for a loan, a bank may ask you to submit your market research to them.</p> <p>&nbsp;When you do market research, you need to learn about your potential customers, the target market, your suppliers, your distributors, and your competitors. With all this information you will be able to produce a complete report of business opportunities in a specific industry. So, in order to meet the right needs and ensure the viability of your new business, take the time to study the market seriously before launching your business. In addition, market research can be done when creating a new product or service to verify the feasibility of it.</p> <h3><strong>Steps to Take When You Do Your Market Research</strong></h3> <p>There are many ways to do market research. You can do it on your own or with a specialized firm. There are also several entrepreneurship-related organizations that can help with your research. They are there to help you as this is an important step in starting your business. Here are the steps you can take to complete your market research.</p> <p><strong>1- Set your goal</strong></p> <p>You probably don&#39;t have an infinite amount of time to devote to your market research. While you need to take the time to find all the relevant information to start your business, you probably want to do it quickly. Start by listing the products and services you would like to offer, and then determine what the target market is. What needs does this market meet? Who are the main players? Who are the customers? For example, if you want to become self-employed as a graphic designer, you need to make sure that the graphic designer market in a specific sector is not already saturated.</p> <p><strong>2- Do Your Research</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;Once you have a specific market to explore, it&#39;s time to do some research. First, find out about the market in question. Is it growing or shrinking? Are there a lot of players or is there a monopoly? Then, decide who you want to talk to? Do you want to work with individuals or companies? Are you aiming for a specific region or do you want to sell across the country or go internationally? Who would need your products and services the most and why? Who are they? What do they like? What are their values?</p> <p>&nbsp;There are several ways to get the information for the above questions. First, as you might expect, there is the internet to spy on your competitors&#39; offers or find information about the target market. Statistics Canada or Industries Canada websites can certainly be useful to you. Then, don&#39;t hesitate to use magazines, newspapers or even business professionals. The goal here is to know as much as possible about the strengths and weaknesses of the market you are interested in.</p> <p>&nbsp;Why not also take the opportunity to survey key stakeholders? That would certainly give you the pulse of the market. You could ask them to complete a questionnaire to find out their needs and expectations or meet them in person.&nbsp; If you don&#39;t know who to focus on in this step, you need to use the target customers you identified at the beginning of your research. Why not join social media groups and ask them to complete an online survey? Of course, choose groups that are connected to the target markets.&nbsp; For example, if you want to offer a vegetarian home catering service, you should target vegetarians and not steak lovers! It&#39;s all about relevance. Also, don&#39;t forget to add a place in the questionnaire where you can ask if the person would be interested in being contacted if you start your business. Make sure not to ask your loved ones to respond to your study, as this can skew the results. Try to get as much feedback as possible.</p> <p><strong>3- Analyze and Present Your Results</strong></p> <p>Then, when you have the answers to your questionnaire and have done some research, it&#39;s time to compile everything. Some data may be less relevant, while other data may give you clues about things you didn&#39;t realize. Group your results into categories and analyze whether the customers in your questionnaires would be interested in your products and services. Your report should include the following: market, demand, supply, suppliers, opportunities, and threats. The more information you gather, the easier it will be for you to get financing and make sure your business is successful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In conclusion, do not hesitate to seek the help of professionals if you do not feel comfortable with this approach. Market research is not to be taken lightly as it will help you build the foundation of your business in order to be competitive. Why not go to networking events in your area to learn more about your customers&#39; needs? It would also be the first step in making yourself known and getting advice!</p> <p><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>

Ariane