Week 3: Market Research – Your Customers & Competitors

clipboard, orange box with text "week 3 market research - customers & competitors"

Now that you have a business idea, or maybe even several ideas from last week’s topic, Ideation, it’s time to take the next important step on the road to launch, market research.

Market research is an ongoing process and one of the most important steps, you’ll take in the early stages of your business creation –  why? As it provides the data used in the foundations of your business and the decisions you make. 

We’ve split the topic of market research up into two sections. 

  1. Finding & analysing your competitors
  2. Finding your target audience

We’ve done this because broadly, the research fits into two categories – research about your customers and research about your competition:

  1. Who are your customers and what will make them buy your product or service? 
  2. Who are your competitors and how can you gain an advantage over them?

Knowing about who you’re competing against and who is likely to buy from you will give you valuable insight into strategic decisions you’ll need to make when starting and running your business.

We recommend reading this content in the order below:

Article 1: How to find and analyse key business competitors in your industry

This article covers the basic approaches to finding your competitors through online and offline approaches. Once you’ve found your competitors, we go through the steps you can take to analyse them through SWOT analysis. By the end of the article, you should be able to identify your direct and indirect competitors and analyse them for their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats.

Go to article

Article 2: How to find your target audience through effective market research

This article uses the data you found in the first article and helps you put it into use by finding your target audience. We go through the steps to finding your target audience and narrowing it down to a marketable size. We also go through tips to finding out more about your target audience through the use of customer personas. By the end of the article, you should be able to have a pretty good idea of your target audience and be able to start thinking about the ways in which you’re going to approach them.

Go to article

Questions you’ll be able to answer by the end of this week:

  1. Is there a potential market for my product/service?
  2. Who is likely to want to buy from me?
  3. Who are my main competitors?
  4. How do I reach my potential clients, customers or supporters?

Related articles:

  1.  Millennial spending patterns and market research 
  2. Researching your businesses competition without getting stressed

Next week we’re looking at your business model and pricing strategy, see you there!

This blog post forms part of our series on how to start a business in 90 days. For an overview of the series and all the blog posts so far click here.

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