After dealing with lagging sales for over five years, it occurred to me that we needed to do something to improve the visibility of our business. We started focusing carefully on marketing, including making our web presence more prominent. We analyzed our demographics, and we worked with a marketing company to make our online content more relevant. The difference was amazing. Within about six months, our company was enjoying a higher customer count and more online traffic. The purpose of this blog is to help you to see how important marketing is, and why every business owner should invest in marketing materials and services.
Many entrepreneurs have grand ideas about the business they want to start. However, without sufficient research, you may find your ideas fall short of their intended goals. During the planning stage, a small investment in research can improve the sustainability of your business.
Since you have a general idea of the type of business you want or the product you will create, this is enough information for preliminary research about your market. The easiest and most cost-effective way to collect information is through survey research, since surveys can be conducted remotely. You can employ a market research company or do your own unofficial anonymous survey. Find out basic demographic information about your participants, such as their gender, income, and family situation.
Extrapolate by informing your participants about your business or product and asking them if they would typically shop at this type of store or buy the product. This information can help you gauge the types of people who are more likely to support your business. In addition to using the information to help in the planning stage of your business, you might change your approach to marketing based on the demographics of your market.
A major stumbling block when starting a business is determining pricing for your products or services. Part of your pricing will be based on your customers and their typical income. You can also utilize surveys to ask participants what they may expect to pay for a product or service. When considering pricing, many surveys ask their participants at which point would they consider the price unreasonably low or high. This information will help you create floors and ceilings for your pricing. Based on survey results, you may need to cut costs on materials or supplies to keep prices within the acceptable range.
Sometimes a survey can reveal information about the general needs of participants and help you expand your business or take your ideas in another direction. You should determine if your product or service genuinely has a place in the market in order for your business to be successful. Additionally, competition can be a significant factor and decrease the need for your business. If you find your original idea is not well received by participants or there is too much competition, you may consider asking participants for suggestions on how to make your concept more marketable or if they have certain needs that are not met by another business.
Since many new businesses fail quickly, you should give your business the best chance at longevity. Before starting a business, preliminary research about different aspects of your business can help prevent first-year failures. For more information, contact Lucintel or a similar company.