The passion for the service or product you are providing is a great thing, and can be the bedrock behind your success if given the right conditions; but if the market isn’t there for your business, or you get your pricing structure wrong, it might not work out well for you.
The key to this phase of your business start-up is to:
– Thoroughly Test Your Ideas
– Develop and Plan Based on Your Findings
– Write a Thorough Business Plan
Test Your Ideas out on Real People
Market research is important as it will help you formulate ideas, and write down concrete plans and strategies for the first few months/years of your business start-up.
The traditional viewpoint of market research is that of rain sodden people with clipboards desperately seeking the attention of passers-by in a shopping centre to answer a few short questions.
This is only a small part of market research – it makes sense to approach not only friends and family, who may be unwilling to be truly honest to you – but to approach real life potential customers to seek honest feedback. Discuss your plans and possible pricing structures and ask whether they would be likely to buy from your company.
It is also an essential part of market research at this crucial stage to think about whom your competitors are and to make a list of what they offer, the prices they charge and where they choose to advertise. Search for their website and both online and offline business directories; it should give you a fair idea of what you are up against in your specialist area and to see which advertising tactics work in that market.
Develop Ideas Based Around Your Market Research
Once you have conducted your market research it is important to have an analytical mind and glean the results that will help you formulate a winning business strategy.
Pay attention to feedback on prices and take heed of any negative comments people have made regarding your service or product. Without going completely against your ideals you can tweak your service and pricing strategies if there is enough call for it from your market research. It is at this stage that ideas can be changed, so if necessary, change things.
In a worst case scenario there might not be a market out there for your service or product, but better to find that out now before you spend money starting a new business and spending an advertising budget. There is nothing to be gained from rushing head first into a business start-up if you haven’t got the right plan, the right services and the right pricing strategy. Of course you’ll only be 100% sure once you open your business, but it is this stage of proceedings that will ensure you are not completely wide of the mark from the very beginning.
Write a Business Plan
Once you have conducted research and developed ideas to a point that you are satisfied with, it is time to write down your official business plan.
A good business plan will explain what types of customer you are looking to sell to, what needs you are aiming to meet and how your business will go about meeting that need in a way that will make you a profit and allow your business start-up to steadily grow.
Your customer research should form a large part of your business plan and the more detailed it is the better you will be able to use it as you navigate the waters of your first journey into a new business. It will also provide a base with which to acquire funding from various sources and to find potential partners should you require them. Feel free to download our business plan template from the download section of the site.
Seek Help from Business Start-Up Specialists
Business start-up packages from experts in the field can help assist you with your business plan, all financial aspects of your new business and find ways in which they can help you hit the ground running once you have formulated the perfect business plan and strategy for your business.
Growing pains are difficult for new businesses but are easily managed if you have the right support network around you.
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.
You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network!