Attention, small businesses! According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are currently 28.8 million small businesses in the United States. These businesses have played a major role in economic growth because they create so many jobs (1.4 million in 2014!), but getting the business off the ground is a struggle. About two-thirds of small businesses survive 2 years, half will survive 5 years, and one-third will make it to 10 years.
Market research is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into your customer base, competitors, and overall market. The goal of conducting market research is to equip your company with the information you need to make informed decisions. Market research is especially important when small businesses are trying to determine whether a new business idea is viable, looking to move into a new market, or are launching a new product or service. Read below for a more in-depth look at how market research can help small businesses.
COMPETITION According to a study conducted by Business Insider, 72% of small businesses focus on increasing revenue. Conducting research helps businesses gain insight into competitor behavior. By learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can learn how to position your product or offering. In order to be successful, small businesses need to have an understanding of what products and services competitors are offering, and their price point.
CUSTOMERS Many small businesses feel they have an understanding of their customer, only to conduct market research and learn they had the wrong assumptions. By conducting research, you can create a profile of your average customer and gain insight into their buying habits, how much they’re willing to spend, and which features resonate with them. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, you can learn what will make someone use your product or service over a competitor.
OPPORTUNITIES Potential opportunities, whether they are products or services, can be identified by conducting market research. By learning more about your customers, you can gather insights into complementary products and services. Consumer needs change over time, influenced by new technology and different conditions, and you may find new needs that are not being met, which can create new opportunities for your business.
FORECAST A small business is affected by the performance of the local and national economy, as are its’ customers. If consumers are worried, then they will be more restrained when spending money, which affects the business. By conducting research with consumers, businesses can get an idea of whether they are optimistic or apprehensive about the direction of the economy, and make adjustments as necessary. For example, a small business owner may decide to postpone a new product launch if it appears the economic environment is turning negative.
QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.