How To Research Your Market And Excel Your Business
Businesses fail all the time because they don’t do the proper research before launching a business, product or service. On the other hand, many influential brands dominate their niches because they take the time to do research before they develop new products and services.
You may think that your small business doesn’t need to worry about what larger brands are doing, but it’s wise to take think big and pay attention to strategies they implement. It will help your brand tremendously. I’ve come across several people who have business ideas but don’t want to research before they launch their business. I’ve had people say they will not worry about “doing all of that” they just want to get started. I don’t understand the rush and research is the start to getting started but I digress...
A research strategy will skyrocket your influence. You’ll know trends and the needs of your market probably before they happen. Let’s discuss the what, why and how:
What is a research strategy?
In short, a system used to determine how viable an idea, product, or service is based on results of market research, brand engagement, returning customers, income patterns and more!
Why you need a research strategy?
To be clear and concise, you need a research strategy to save you from the aches. It saves you from headache, heartache, and pocket-aches (not a word, but many of you have felt this feeling before). A research strategy will tell you what is working and what isn’t working. It will alert you to opportunities and possible threats.
Skipping research is like buying a house off the internet because it looks nice. You buy it without inspecting it or looking at what you’re buying in person. Lack of research is a waste of your time and money. You don’t get what you expect most times without it.
How to create your research strategy: Part One
The best way to develop your research strategy is to perform a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is an assessment of your business’s [S]trengths, [W]eaknesses, [O]pportunities, and [T]hreats.
Internal Assessment: Strengths and Opportunities
A strength is what you do better than the masses in your industry. An opportunity is what you could be missing out on and should implement as soon as possible. The best way to understand your strengths and opportunities is to know what your specialties are in business and listen to what others tell you about your business, products, and services.
Pay attention to the things other businesses in your niche aren’t doing as well. Staying alert will help you identify opportunities. If there is a gap in your niche and your target market needs something, there’s an opportunity for you to fill the gap with your products or services. The goal is to increase your strengths and opportunities.
External Assessments: Weaknesses and Threats
Knowing weaknesses and threats before the market tells you is very important for all businesses. A weakness is something you don’t do well in business. You may be a great designer, but you may suck at social media marketing. A threat is something that could disrupt your business and affect its income. If you design great pieces, there could be a new designer with a similar style as yours who is building a quick buzz in your niche. This is considered a threat. It means that you have to stay on top of your A-game and please your market at all times.
As a business owner, you should know some of the weaknesses your brand has. Other weaknesses will be identified throughout your business with time. Always consider which products or services need improvement from any feedback received (or lack thereof). If you’ve received complaints in the past, this is a weakness in your business. It’s not a failure. It just means you need to shift and adjust. Every brand has its weaknesses. If you sense a threat, make sure you’re consistent and provide quality at all times with your business. Stay the course. The goal is to lessen weaknesses and/or threats before they become costly.
How to create your research strategy: Part Two
If you want to know what’s happening in your niche, what the public is saying, and where to improve, start with the following research steps:
Review Popular searches
Google is your friend. Use keywords and phrases in the google search box (don’t press enter). You’ll see other keywords and/or phrases that people are looking for online. Also take some time to visit Buzzsumo to see what topics are the most popular. This website is great to view the most shared content on the internet according to your niche or topic.
Read Bad Reviews
Read all of the bad reviews of a product that you are thinking about creating or a product that you’ve already developed. What are people saying about this product? Do you have similar features in your product? How can you create a product that doesn’t have what people aren’t raving positively about?
Also, use your own reviews as research. Make sure you ask someone what could you have done better. Don’t shy away from constructive criticism. This is the perfect way to get exactly what you ideal clients may want.
Lurk in the comments of your competition online. Most times influencers will ask their audience a question that helps your brand. Or, people will make comments about their aspirations on posts of the influencers. Your competitors already have most of your target audience on their accounts or website. It’s easier to find out what your audience needs through their comments.
On the same token, pay attention to your comments. What do people respond to the most? How can you serve your audience better? Your audience will tell you what they think about about your content and marketing efforts without saying a word. The purpose of this strategy is to record changes in your engagement rates according to the types of content you post.
Become a secret shopper
Buy a product that you have genuine interest in. Implement all of the strategies stated in the product. Assess what you love about the product and what improvements could be made. The purpose of this strategy is to stay on top of being the best or one of the best providers of your specialty in your niche.
Try case studies
Many business owners have case studies published, especially bloggers. Case studies are articles that state the results of tested strategies for business purposes. You may see blog posts or articles like “How I grew a six figure business in just one year”. Posts like these are case studies. I urge you to find case studies that you think are practical enough for you to apply. Implement your own strategies and test things out for your brand. Always look for the market’s response to your efforts.
If you’re serious about dominating your business, you’ll get serious about your industry and your company’s position. Researching your market will put you light years ahead of those lazy business owners who want to skip research in hopes to be rich overnight. If you need a step-by-step plan on how you can research your market, let’s work together in a strategy session. We will do your SWOT analysis together then craft a plan of domination across the digital space (your social accounts, email list, website, and blog). There are far more things you could do to research your market, but I will show you the simplest and less time consuming research strategies that help you execute your income goals.
Remember, the best buyer is an informed buyer. You need a practical plan that provides you with the best knowledge about your industry, niche, audience, and business. Don’t be the business owner with a ton of money but no patience. Throwing money at whatever sticks is not a wise financial decision. Don’t be the business owner with more time than money and no patience. Being desperate for a dollar will result in an expensive investment (time) with a return you won’t be proud of.