First-stage market research: 10 questions to test the waters
Are you researching your industry to see where you fit into the market? Here’s some questions to ask yourself:
- Who are my customers? Establish you have a market, then try to define it.
- Where are my customers? Location is pivotal when establishing a bricks and mortar presence. You need to be convenient.
- Why would customers choose me? What are your unique selling points (e.g. price, convenience, knowledge/service)?
- How will I reach them? Research your customers’ demographic backgrounds to look for trends that will make them easier to reach — for example, is social media a good idea, or targeted industry advertising?
- Who are my competitors — what do they do well or badly? You need to give customers a reason to choose you. Scanning reviews and complaints about your competitors gives you an edge.
- What are my competitors’ costs? While price lists will be publicly available, talk to suppliers or check any publicly listed documents with ASIC for an idea of internal costs.
- Will my price/costs be competitive?
- What are the major trends in the industry? Is your market stable, or likely to expand or contract rapidly? What are the opportunities? Is it vulnerable to disruptors?
- What is the economic outlook and how will this impact my industry?
- Does my business need to be online, real-world or both?