Starting a Business: Do Your Research

There’s no better time to start your business than right now. Technological advances and the boom of social media have made it easier than ever before to reach a large audience with minor effort. The thing is, though, you have to know what you’re doing and that requires research. Skipping this critical step is likely to result in failure, often before you’ve even gotten the chance to get off the ground. 

Researching on the Go

Not everyone has hours to sit down and browse the web or their local library, learning about the business. If you’re working a full-time job or find yourself with little free time and think you don’t have time for research, think again. Technology makes it easy to access information wherever you go. Save notes using a web page capture feature from a good notes app — it can help you keep specific articles, guides, and book titles handy when you’re unable to read the information now. This will not only give you easy access to the content in the future, it will remind you to read it.

When starting a business, there are a few key elements that you want to focus on — namely market and target audience. 

Market Research

Your market research focuses on whether your product or service is viable, and if there’s a place for it in your community. You can collect this data through several methods including interviewing, creating questionnaires and surveys, or using focus groups. If you’re unable to carry out this research yourself, or you don’t know where to begin, consider hiring a marketing research consultant. They can help you collect the data and combine it into one easy-to-understand outlook.

Target Audience

Defining your target audience is also important because you need to know who to advertise your product or service to. If you try to cater to every demographic, you’ll be spread too thin. Instead, choose one area to specialize in. This makes sure that your research and focus is concentrated rather than scattered and disorganized. Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll know how to reach them. 

Social Media Research

Social media is a huge part of today’s business culture since many people are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and they follow the trends. To reach people, you’ll need to create ads that draw their attention. While creativity is a must, there are other factors that go into creating a great Facebook ad. You need to choose the correct keywords and define the correct audience (as discussed above). 

It’s important to promote your business however you can. Whether it’s through ads, attaching a link to your accounts in all correspondence and listing it on your company website. People need to know where to find you. Making your company accessible increases your chances of success, and more importantly, so does engaging your clientele, so don’t be afraid to interact with those who post on your pages. 

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is necessary, whether you’re using your own money or looking to secure start-up capital. It’s basically a roadmap that shows where you want your business to go and how you expect to reach your goals. Even if you’re using your own money and not borrowing, it’s a good tool to have because it outlines all of your research, your data and the steps you plan to take. Of course, the business plan is likely to change after you launch and adapt to the market response, but it’s still a valuable tool that can help keep you on the right path. 

When it comes to business, there’s no success in cutting corners. Make sure you take the proper elements into consideration before you launch, or you’ll be struggling to make a profit. Research can help you understand the market and the tactics you need to succeed. 

John Peterson

Amanda Peterson: Amanda is an economist turned blogger who provides readers with an in-depth look at macroeconomic trends and their impact on businesses.