Here at the Internet Business School we’re always keeping an eye on the best ways for interpreneurs and their small businesses to get ahead of their competitors and reach greater success. Knowing your customer base is absolutely key to growing your business and your profits. That’s why if you want to fast track your business to success, you’re going to need to do some market research. So what common mistakes should you be looking out for when you start your research? Here are our top ten:
1) Overspending – If you’ve got the know-how, market research doesn’t require you to break the bank. Yet in their haste for data, many business owners pay out a lot to get all the information as fast as possible. Take some time to shop around, or research other methods, to avoid overspending.
2) Not knowing what you’re looking for – Don’t do market research in the hopes of just discovering anything about your customers. You should know what information you need before you start. Have questions ready for what you need to know.
3) Poor choice of sources – The internet is a great place to start your research but you must consider the source of the information you’re getting. This is especially a problem on the internet, where sites can included dated or biased material. Research your research materials and make sure they are reliable.
4) Not knowing enough about the competition – Get as much information about your competition as you can. The more you know about their business, their pricing, and their strengths and weaknesses, the more effectively you can combat the competition.
5) Not researching price information – Your market research should tell you what customers expect to spend and how high they will go to buy a product or services like yours.
6) Researching the wrong group of people – You need to know your targeted demographic before you start your research. Make sure you know exactly who you want your customer base to be before you start on any focus groups or surveys. Many business make the mistake of gathering data that turns out to be useless for their needs.
7) Having non-specific surveys – It pays to take time and make sure your survey is getting exactly the sort of information you need. Irrelevant information is time and money wasted so make sure you are asking the right sort of questions to get useful answers.
8) Not being aggressive enough with your research – No one is going to give you the information you need if you’re not aggressive enough with asking for it. Give your customers an incentive to fill out your survey. Put it in as many places as possible for them to see. Answers are crucial and without them surveys have little point.
9) Relying on one set of data – One set of information is rarely enough to get a complete overview of any group of customers. Use different sources of data, your own surveys, information from online research, and any other relevant industry sources to find primary and secondary resources of information.
10) Not using your results – What’s worse than bad market research? Ignoring the research you’ve already done. Just because your results aren’t what you want to see doesn’t mean the information is useless. Learn from what you’ve got and if it shows you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. That’s how your business will grow.
Want to get researching but don’t know where to start? Our online market research course is exactly what you need. Visit our course page to find out more and discover this essential tool to business success with the Internet Business School.