Market Research: What You Need to Know Before Starting a Business

By QuickBooks Canada Team

2 min read

After identifying a great concept for a business, it is crucial to discover whether your product can satisfy your target clients and achieve sustainable growth. This process is known as market research. Market research lets you learn the wants, needs, desires, and wishes of your customers so that you can nurture and grow your client base. You can acquire the market research needed to enhance your firm’s chances of achieving financial success – without breaking the bank.

Benefits of Market Research

Market research has many benefits that all help drive revenue while increasing the bottom line on your firm’s statement of profit and loss.

  • It can aid you in choosing which products or services you should market the most and which items should take a back seat.
  • It can help you prioritize the types of operational and marketing issues that are important for discovering and retaining customers.
  • It can focus your sales force, operations, and employees on your firm’s most critical processes.
  • It can discover the messages that will be the most effective at creating a positive company image and brand.
  • It can give you guidance towards choosing the most compelling promotional and advertising content.

Determine Your Research Needs

Before beginning market research, contemplate why your business needs market research in the first place. Ask yourself which specific problems you are trying to solve and how you will go about achieving these goals.

One of the biggest reasons to perform market research is to identify potential sources of financing for your small business. After employing your personal capital, consider researching other financing alternatives, such as small business loans, venture capitalist investment, or special funding from the Business Development Bank of Canada. To maximize the odds of your firm acquiring financing, you need to be able to present the following to potential investors:

  • Great collateral and credit rating
  • A well-thought out business plan
  • A proven record of success with other business ventures

The type of data you need about the market, target customers, and competitors influence the methods of research you may choose.

Primary Research

Primary research refers to information that is original and collected directly. Examples of primary research are:

  • Direct observations
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups and interviews

Through this form of research, you get complete control over the type of information you gather. Even though conducting primary research can be quite costly and time-consuming, it can also provide extremely valuable information.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is obtained through published resources, such as:

  • Data published by trade associations or government agencies
  • Information gathered from syndicated reports
  • Industry trade journal articles

Through secondary research, you can apply existing information about your industry. This method is a great way to gain an initial understanding of the market because it is less time-consuming and costly compared to primary research.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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