You have set the goal to start or pivot your business, established your reason why now how do you line up what you want to do with what your customers want? Put another way, do you have a product or service that customers are willing to pay for, that can create sales that will eventually be greater than your expenses? Is there a big enough market for what you want to sell?
You may have 2 or 3 ideas that you want to take forward. However, for ease of focus and to be known for something apply the 1-1-1 rule: Take one idea, develop 1 product or service – research the market – take 1 product or service forward.
So, what are the 5 free quick and easy ways to identify your market now? (in a COVID safe and socially distanced way!)
1. Google search the product or service that you want to provide and see what and how many organic searches come up
2. Look at the websites of the top 3 businesses in the google search and note:
- what are they selling?
- what is the price point?
- How have they positioned themselves in the market? (e.g. Are they an aspirin? – solving customers pain or a ‘vitamin’? - enhancing customers life and wellbeing) and;
- How have they differentiated themselves in the market?
3. Talk to or contact a couple of businesses in your sector as a mystery shopper :
- What was the customer service like?
- What did you learn about the business and;
- How do they operate?
4. Consult free market research sites e.g. Google Trends, Salience and though you have to pay for their reports MINTEL' s free blog, podcast and newsletter could help you spot trends and generate ideas
Conduct a simple survey or poll of your own and give people an incentive to fill it in with amazon vouchers etc . You can use social media polls
or survey monkey to find out whether they:
- Like your idea?
- Will they buy, why and at what price?
- Follow up the survey with an in-depth telephone interview to help you understand and profile your ideal customers. Don’t just rely on friends and family for this one.
Want to know more?
Read ‘The New Business Road Test: What entrepreneurs and executives should do before writing a business plan’ by John Mullins packed with tips, worksheets and case studies on how to do market research
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So, if you are looking to diversify your work portfolio and income stream, to create more freedom, flexibility and financial income based on a foundation of passion and purpose, book a free 30-minute coaching call to be part of the pilot programme in helping you to start your side business from the comfort of your own home.
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