How to research the market for your product or service


Before you start your business, test the market to make sure there will be demand for your product or service.

STEPS:

  1. Learn about your market. Go to trade shows and network with other professionals in your line of business.
    Subscribe to trade publications.

  2. Spend time with potential customers. Randomly ask people in the grocery store checkout line or at the bus stop, what they’d like out of the type of product you want to sell.
  3. Set up a focus group to gather opinions about your product or service. This could be an informal gathering of your friends and family, or a more formal group assembled by a market research firm you hire. Be sure to get group members’ reactions to your pricing model.
  4. Send out a survey to potential customers. Make the form easy to fill out by asking multiple-choice questions. Ask if they would buy this product or service.
  5. Analyze your findings to determine whether your ideas are viable. How did people react to your product or service. What do people like about your product or service.

    TIP:

    • Make sure that the people you’re surveying are indeed those who are potential customers. Otherwise, the data you collect will be meaningless.
    • Collect a large sample so that your findings will be accurate.
    • Create a well-designed survey. Ask very specific questions that can be answered in a “yes” or “no” fashion.

    WARNINGS:

    / Avoid assuming that what you like is what others will like. / Remember, you must meet the needs of the greatest number of customers.