Do your research

Do your research

Most new ideas come from something that already exists. Google was built on the shoulders of Altavista, Yahoo! and other search engines. Facebook was developed on the foundations of Friendster, MySpace and other social networking sites.

So what’s our point? Well, before you spend time and money developing your idea, check out the competition. Does your new idea offer something that doesn’t currently exist? What and how much value will your idea add to the products and services that are already out there?

It’s also a good idea to research your customers. Who are they, and why would they choose your new product or service over the existing ones? How much are they currently paying for a similar thing, and how much are they willing to pay for something new? If you want to build a strong business, it’s important to have realistic expectations.

How to do market research
1. Know what you’re researching – categorise your product or service and identify your customers. This will make your research process much faster and easier.

2. Search the Internet for similar products and services. Check out online forums and read expert opinions in your specific industry.

3. Talk to your potential customers. If you can, carry out a survey to get their opinions. But make sure you ask the right questions so you get useful information.

For more info on market research, check out:
http://www.inc.com/guides/start_biz/24018.html
http://www.youngbusiness.net/resources/resources-for-young-entrepreneurs/market-analysis/
http://www.betteryoungentrepreneur.com/102/how-to-understand-your-market-with-surveys