Conducting Market Research

11 Questions To Ask When Conducting Market Research For Your Business

Before you start a business, you need to be sure that the marketplace wants what you are offering.  Nothing sucks more than pouring your heart and soul into a new business venture only to find out that people just aren't interested in what you have to offer.

Conducting thorough market research also opens up additional questions you may need to answer about your business and may reveal opportunities in the marketplace that are not currently being met.

Before you start any kind of marketing or advertising campaigns, you'll need to conduct some market research first.  It doesn't need to be a seven-month-long process or a 100-page document that you create, but you do need to ask yourself some questions and do some work to find out the answers.  You can also create simple surveys for potential customers in your market to get a feel for how receptive they would be to your business idea.

Without a thorough knowledge of the marketplace and existing businesses, you may be putting yourself in danger before you even start. The following questions will help you to identify some important issues in your marketplace, and it will help you to double-check if there are crucial issues that you may not have considered before you start your new business.

Market Research Questions

1- Are there other businesses similar to yours that are currently operating in your market? Existing businesses like yours is not a bad thing, it means there is a market for your business.

2- How do these businesses appear to be doing?  Do they look like healthy, thriving businesses?

3- What are these businesses doing well?

4- What are these businesses doing poorly?

5- What could you do to compete with these businesses?  How would you stand out?  Is there an opportunity to create a competitive advantage here?

6- How much competition is there?  Does the market appear to be saturated?

7- If yes, are there ways that you can alter your business plan to suit a niche market?

8- What kind of people would want to buy your product or pay for your service?  What's your ideal customer profile?

9- Are there enough of these types of potential customers living in your community to support your business?  Where are they located?  Will they frequent the area you plan to be in?

10- Can the economic profile of the community support your business?  Are you selling a premium service with prices to match?  Can the community support this type of business?  Be sure your product or service matches the economics of the community.

11- Are these people the type of customers who are likely to become repeat customers? If so, why?

Market Research for Small Business Quote


Don't think about the above questions as a way to rule out starting a business, they may actually lead you to become even more creative and innovative about your new venture.  usually what happens is that answering these questions opens up new insights and potential opportunities for you.  To get some further insight, have someone you trust answer these questions too, they might have some suggestions you never thought of.

Once you have finished answering these questions, make up a list of additional questions that may have arisen during this research and find answers to them.  Armed with this information, you'll be able to make better decisions and help minimize mistakes that could have been avoided.

Once you have completed your market research, you can start working on your marketing research.  You can read a previous post titled, Five Steps to Conducting Great Marketing Research for Your Small Business


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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
13 replies
  1. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    Yo’re so right Niall, so many new business owners I work with are worried about competition. I tell them that competition is good because it shows there is a market for what you are selling and that people understand the product or service. Also, customers have something to compare you to, which is great if you are offering a superior product or service. Cheers!

  2. Ungureanu
    Ungureanu says:

    I totally agree with you. When conducting a market research for a business you must be very careful. You have to find answers to all these questions!

  3. Jillian
    Jillian says:

    Market research is so important, yet we seem to rush through it trying to get our business off the ground. Doing this might save you from making some critical mistakes in those first few crucial months

  4. Kristina
    Kristina says:

    How much competition is too much? Is that even possible? I’m currently creating a public survey however I know there are several competitors of like-minded businesses in the city, do I avoid trying to build up and compete with these businesses or should I look outside the city with fewer like businesses?
    Also, I do have some fairly good questions, but what are some other questions, could you recommend, to ask the public in regards to preference and demographic?

  5. Gary Shouldis
    Gary Shouldis says:

    Hey Kristina, great question. In any city, there are dozens-hundreds of pizza joints, the majority of them can make a good living at it. Usually if you find that you have almost no competition, it’s a sign that the demand may not be that strong yet. When you’re in a competitive market, the two things that will rise you to the top is the quality of your service/business, and how effectively you can market your value.

    You have to be careful with asking questions and conducting surveys, you can sometimes get really bad data that will lead to really bad decisions. People will often tel you one thing but act in a totally different way. The best way is to test, test your product or idea. Get people to commit, either by paying or offering some kind of commitment, then you’ll get a better idea if there is opportunity. It’ll also give you a chance to get good feedback on your ideas and make changes before you go all out.
    Feel free to message me if you have any questions and thanks for the great comments!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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