How do I go about conducting market research

Very often the early-stage entrepreneur or business person identifies a ‘gap in the market’. The key, though, is to be able to properly identify the ‘market in that gap’ and this is where Market Research plays a vital role.

Market Research is necessary to verify that a demand exists in the market place for your product or service. Potential investors, grant agencies and business advisors will all look to see if you know that a demand exists for your product or service.

There are many methods of conducting market research and they include the following:

  1. Use a market research agency to conduct questionnaires among a sample of your target market;
  2. Employing a Freelance Researcher to conduct interviews among experts in the industry and to administer a questionnaire;
  3. Conduct the research yourself by firstly reviewing trade magazines, newspapers, trade association newsletters and web sites to gather information on the industry or customer base that you are hoping to target.

There is often a tendency to over-complicate the Market Research process, and in many cases it may be as simple to getting out there and talking to the people you would consider as your target market. It is best not to rely on the feedback of friends and family too much, as they may only tell you what you what you want to hear!

Whatever approach you take, the objective of the research is to establish whether a niche exists in the market for your product or service – the aim is to identify the market in the gap!