What you must remember when doing market research is the fact that collecting the right data is the most important thing. Collecting this data allows you to understand your customers, which gives you the chance to tailor your products to meet their needs. Keep in mind that your competitors are doing the exact same thing at the exact same time, so you are in competition for this information as well. Therefore, make sure that you make the right choices when asking questions and avoid making a few common mistakes.
The first mistake that many marketers make is relying on information that others have developed. This is called secondary research and although it is valuable, it does not necessarily apply to your product.
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For example, if a market research company has done some work in your area and published the results, this might be a good place for you to begin. You would not, however, want to take this information as being the absolute truth, since things can change very quickly and the results could be skewed by a number of different factors. It is also not entirely relevant to your business, which flaws the numbers immediately.
Another mistake that some novices make is using web only resources. This, once again, is a good place to start because it provides inexpensive information in a matter of seconds. The problem, however, is that there is no guarantee that this information is 100 percent accurate. You would not want to base your business plan on something that has been published by an anonymous individual and has been made readily available to anyone in the world. There is no guarantee that this information will work for you, so you should always dig deeper and find information that is more relevant.
Avoid only asking people you know about your product or service. While it might be a good confidence booster for you to ask your parents and friends about your ideas, you will surely only see one side of the spectrum. These people are likely to focus on the positives, which will leave you without the information that you actually need. Good market research will show you what you need to improve on, which is the only way to make your business grow.
Those who know you will be more worried about hurting your feelings than providing you with accurate information. This is one reason why a questionnaire is the best way to get this information, as it is completely anonymous.
Market research can help your business greatly, but you must avoid making mistakes that will have the exact opposite effect. If you gather incorrect information, it could lead you down the wrong path, which will put you well behind in your quest to make money. Business relies on having the right information about potential customers and clients. As long as you take the time to gather accurate information that is relevant to your business, you will see results in the business world.