At GoForth Institute, we’ve seen many entrepreneurs with a great business idea and a burning desire to get going. However, they have no idea who they’re going to sell to! In a way, we understand – starting a new small business is one of the most exciting things you can do in your life. But we also know that knowing your target market inside and out does amazing things to your odds of small business success.
Why do research your target market?
Let’s say you’ve decided to open a flower shop. You find suppliers, lease a great building and flip your “Closed” sign to “Open.” And then you wait. And wait. And wait. By the end of your first week you’ve made a total of two sales. What went wrong? Here are some possibilities:
- You opened your shop across the street from a family-run flower shop that has been successful in that location for 25 years, with many loyal customers.
- Your shop is located in an area that gets little to no foot traffic, like a business park.
- Your prices are much too high for what people are willing to pay.
- The people you think want to buy your flowers simply don’t.
Right there are four barriers to small business success that market research could have revealed. We can’t stress it enough – take the time to research your market. It can make the difference between a successful business and falling flat right out of the gate. Don’t be put off by the time and potential cost of it – it’s investing in your small business’ success.
Resources for market research
Market research is a varied thing, with many different avenues to explore. Check out some of our related blog posts for more information about the different types of market research: Primary and Secondary.