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Easy ways to conduct market research for your new business idea

Market research is crucial for any new business idea for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you

find out what your potential customers want. Secondly, it shows you what your competitors

are doing and how you can do it better.

Market research doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming either, which is great news for small business who may not have the capital or the manpower needed for in-depth market research.

Read our article on finding out whether your business ideas is viable here

Use Quora and Reddit to identify customer pain points

These two platforms can help you find out whether your potential customers need your product and services.

Quora is a platform where people can ask questions on any topic. These are then answered by experts in the online community. The wider community then vote on their favourite answer. Therefore, Quora lets you see the kinds of questions your target customers are asking and which solutions they find the most valuable - you can select topic areas relevant to you and receive email notifications when new questions are asked in that area.

Guide to using Quora:

Reddit can also be used in a similar way. The online forum lets users discuss almost anything online and can give you great insights into the opinions, needs and frustrations of your target customers. You can also use ‘subreddits’ (dedicated forums on reddit for a particular topic) to find very niche audiences.

Guide to using Reddit:

Online Surveys

Got some specific questions you’d like to ask your target customers? There are a number of online tools that let you create online surveys on everything from demographics to general attitudes towards a topic. With Survey Monkey, for example, you can share the survey yourself amongst your own networks, or pay to have the tool gather responses from your specified demographic.

Behaviour and Analytics

What data do you have access to about your target customers? These can include trend reports, market statistics and industry surveys collected by third parties. The Office for National Statistics has a wealth of information about the local population from things like the census, as well as annual reports on a huge range of industries, including agricultural trends, household income, energy prices, housing, consumer trends, business trends, manufacturing and much more.

Competitive Analysis

Looking at what your potential competitors are doing is a great way to figure out what you should or shouldn't be doing and identify gaps in the market. What will make your business stand above the rest? Here are some things you can look out for in your competitive research:

  • Look at their website - how are they positioning themselves in the market? What features and services do they highlight?
  • Sign-up for their newsletter and follow them on social media - the way they communicate with their customers can give you a better understanding of the market
  • Look at their prices - you’ll get a better understanding of what your target customers are willing to pay
  • Look at company reviews - what are some common customer complaints? These could be things your business could address
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