Every business is only as strong as the products and/or services it can offer to its customer base. As the owner of a start up business it is important that you put in place as much testing as possible before launching your product or service to the world. This should be as comprehensive as possible, testing it out in a variety of ways to see how it should work and which areas will require further tweaking before they are ready to be released.

You’ll have put your hard work, sweat, blood and tears into getting your business off the ground. The product and service you are developing could be a genius idea, but if the demand and marketplace isn’t viable it will flop, and it is vitally important that you understand this before putting more time, money and effort into the venture. You have to understand the demand, the potential target market and the prices that you’ll be looking to charge in order to make a profit.

Quick Market Research

When you first have an idea for a new business, product or service there isn’t the need to go all in with an in-depth market research at that point. Look at the marketplace in a more general sense and see if you can spot a gap in the market that your business idea could possibly, and easily, pivot to. The best scenario for a new business idea is to become a market leader in the fewest possible steps. Even if you decide you want to offer a product or service that is already popular on the marketplace, look at the market and see how you would improve on what is already on offer.

Prospect Targeting

Once you have in mind your perfect target customer it’s time to think about raw data. Where do these prospects live? How many live local to your business, or in the region, even in the country? There are business start-up advice packages centred on direct marketing and generating prospect lists. Do your research and find out which marketing tool is right for you, or conduct your own market research and build a data list slowly but surely.

Speak to Potential Customers

Mainly your market research at this stage will consist of trying to understand who your customers are and who they could be. Speak to your friends and family at first to see if you can acquire honest feedback on your product or service, but don’t limit yourself to that. Find out the opinions of potential customers and ask direct questions about their opinions on your product or service and whether they would pay the price you have in mind. This process could include surveying people online, via telephone conversations or on the high street, with samples of your product at hand if possible.

Competitors Research

At first you can use search engines to look at what is available in the marketplace currently. Assess the competition to see what specific products and services they are offering, and the prices and terms of sale. At this point you should have a fair general idea of whether the marketplace is too saturated in your area, and whether it is worthwhile exploring a different product, or tweaking your service to be outstanding in a different way.

Market Research Analysis

It is important to be completely honest when analysing the research you have put together. To ignore feedback given on your prices and the intricacies of your product at this stage would be suicidal business practice. If your potential customer feedback is asking for a lower price, or a slightly different product, go back and see whether you can change those things and still make it a viable business practice. It is much easier to iron out any details at this stage, before taking your business ideas to a mass market, than having to back pedal and make changes once your product is already for sale.

Testing your business is a vital component of the early stages of a new business, or a new product, service or strand of a business. Speak to your potential customers, research your competitors and use all of that information to make your business plan as strong as it can possibly be.

Take the time to read through our guides for start-up businesses. There is plenty of advice and help available so don’t be frightened to take the plunge.
Our Free Download section is also full of templates which will help you get started.
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