Statistical surveying and market research can empower you to distinguish your target buyer and discover how they judge your ideas, items or brand. They also allow you to assemble bits of knowledge to help you focus on the right market.
In this article we will be looking at the importance of small business marketing research. We will cover a few handy tips to help determine whether your small business marketing idea is worth following up…
A Small Business Marketing Strategy
In my experience most ( if not all ) newcomers to the business world believe they have the idea that will set them apart from the rest.
The truth of the matter is that you have to test out your ideas before proceeding with them. Traveling blind is NOT the way to go!
Some ‘starters’ have already showcased their idea to prospective customers and the response has been great…
But there is still no harm in finding out just that little bit more – maybe you can improve on your offer and make selling that little bit easier.
Low Cost Marketing For Small Businesses
Many business start-ups seem to get it in their head that they need to ‘shell out’ to get the market research results they are looking for – this is not often the case!
A small business does not really need to pay for this type of research as it can be carried out through low-cost tests.
The trick here is to get in contact with your customers in the simplest way you know how. A good friend of mine was in the process of opening a shop in a relatively busy area of Liverpool.
He had little money to spare so he took upon the market research himself. He stood outside his half derelict shop and politely stopped passers by to ask a few questions.
After explaining that he planned to open soon and the niche he was targeting he then asked them what they would like to see sold there.
He then went a little further and ended up with suggestions on realistic prices for these products. That was one afternoon out of his life that resulted in a landslide of important feedback and advice!
Specialist Small Business
If you consider your enterprise to be a specialist small business you can always get hold of target customers directly.
This works wonders if you are planning on selling your brand to other businesses. A simple phone call will test the water and allow you to inquire about a one-on-one meeting ( face-to-face will always bring out new ideas and highlight discrepancies ).
The Good & The Bad
Feedback is essential for any small business marketing idea – don’t be afraid of it. If you receive positive feedback then that’s great – if it’s negative it’s not the end of the world.
It’s easy to just overlook the negative but this would be a HUGE mistake on your part. This sort of information is gold to your business development.
Always respond to the negative comments but don’t make excuses. Once you’ve listened to the problems put forward it gives you a realistic chance to act on them.
Business Competitor Analysis
Every business is going to have it’s fair share of competition no matter how targeted your niche is. You need to find out what products and offers they offer, how they go about business and what price ranges they aim for.
Once you have gathered enough information on your competitors you can make an honest judgement on whether or not you can become their competition.
This again, does not have to be a costly activity ( in fact it can cost you nothing! ). Simply spend a day walking around the area and locating the businesses you feel could pose as competition.
Now comes the James Bond bit – simply walk into these businesses and pose as a perspective customer.
Google is your friend when it comes to small business marketing research so use it wisely. Search through all the resulting competitor’s websites and see how they have set themselves up.
Websites will always contain online contact information and direct phone numbers. Why not give that particular competitor a quick ring?
A lot of businesses still use the more traditional method of advertising to get their word across. Don’t forget to check out the local papers and business directories.
Small Business Marketing Research
The only way you will know if you have enough research down is by gauging your level of confidence. Do you feel you have enough information to compete with the playing field?
Remember – this is very much a case of ‘the more the merrier’. The more information you can collect the less chance of your Business taking an early nose dive!
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