As your business grows you will need to conduct market research to:
When you first launched your business, your market research most likely focused on identifying and reaching your target market, and building your market share. This type of research is still important for growing your business, however, you will need to ensure that you focus not only on acquiring new customers, but also keeping your existing customers. Your customers’ feedback and input into both your current and future products and services will be the most beneficial for your business. Survey your existing customers either informally or formally, remembering to:
Feedback from your customers can help you improve your existing product and service offerings, as well as identify opportunities for growth.
Market research is critical in evaluating potential new markets, products/services or revenue streams. Research can provide you with data that can enable you to make informed decisions about growing your business and whether or not you can achieve your growth targets. As in the start-up phase, you should utilize a combination of primary and secondary research to obtain the required data.
Identifying the competition is an important part of a start-up’s planning process and critical for growing companies. The competitive landscape may have changed since you started your business. Some competitors may have ceased operations, while new competitors have likely emerged. Analysis at this stage needs to be very thorough to ensure that you fully understand your competitors pricing structure, marketing approaches, and strengths and weaknesses. Whether you are expanding your business by increasing sales to existing customers or by adding a different revenue stream, you need to able to confidently address the question: What makes me stand out from the competition?
As you grow your business and expand into new markets and/or products, you’ll need to be aware of and comply with applicable regulations. Here are steps to check to make sure you’re not missing anything:
Small business owners need to keep up to date with current market trends in order to successfully grow their business. This will enable you to identify opportunities for growth, learn about changes in consumer purchasing behavior, and better understand how to reach your customers in light of emerging technology and social media tools. Here are some tips that can help stay informed about trends in your industry:
For additional information on conducting researching for your business, visit the Market Research section on our website.