From idea to research: Who are your Customers and What Do They Want?

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

5.       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


Thinking about starting a side business?

The Business of Life is part of the 3Cs Digital brand whose vision and mission it is to inspire and empower women to start and grow successful small businesses with confidence.  


As well as the blog, The Business of Life is developing an online coaching programme called *Steps into Entrepreneurship : Creating Success with a Side Business* for women over 40.


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.


Have a business already? Need support in developing it online?

3Cs Digital is a web marketing service dedicated to helping women in business set up and develop their online presence. Through coaching or consultancy services in web design, copywriting and social media marketing 3Cs Digital equips women in business with the digital knowledge and skills to: create and design websites, find their brand voice and curate social media posts to attract their ideal customers to their small business website.