Business Research

The first way. Find out every detail of the product or service. Make yourself an expert. Go on to the internet and Google the product or service. Explore every outlet or source of information on it. Imagine this you\’re going to be grilled by venture capitalists or bankers, and you must be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of every detail.

The second way. Read all the trade magazines, articles, and stories on the business, industry, or service. Sometimes, one observation in a current magazine or article can be critical to business success or failure.

The third way. Doing fast, cheap market research is to seek out people in the same business and ask their opinion of the product or service. If you\’re thinking of buying a business, go and talk with everyone who\’s already in that business and ask them what they think when they get into the business again if they were starting over today. What advice or counsel would they give someone interested in getting into this business? You\’ll be absolutely amazed at how open and helpful people are when you ask for their advice. They\’re not secretive at all, and sometimes they can open your eyes to possibilities or pitfalls that you would never have seen on your own. Take your product or service to your bank manager for their opinion or advice, even if you do not have a company bank account. You have a checking or savings account. Your bank manager is talking with businesspeople who have ideas for new products and services every single day. Often they will have observations or even internal banking publications that can give you ideas and insights that are priceless. Don\’t be afraid to ask.

The fourth way. Do market research is to ask your family, friends, and acquaintances for information, ideas, and opinions, especially listen to the women in your life. They are the very best shoppers around, and they now make or control the majority of buying decisions in America. When you take your product or service to a woman, she will give you an immediate, honest, accurate, and intuitive answer about its attractiveness and marketability. In addition, most women know a lot about what is available and how to compare your product or service against alternatives. If a woman is negative to your product or service idea, you should immediately pull back and see if it is possible to change it to make it more attractive.

The fifth way. Do research is to visit prospective customers for the product or service and simply ask if they would buy it. Prospective customers are an extraordinarily good source of market information. If you ask them their opinion of your product or service, they will tell you immediately they will not hold back, and they are almost always accurate. They will give you insights and feedback that you could not get by hiring a market research firm to go out and pull hundreds or thousands of people.

Finally, in doing fast and cheap market research, investigate all competitors for the product or service. Who else is offering a competitive product or service? What are its special features or benefits? And especially ask, Why would someone switch to buy from me?