Market research is indeed a good step if you are deciding to put up a small business or if you want to improve the performance of your business. One of the mistakes of some businesspeople is to assume that they pretty know their market well and disregards market research as a very good step in knowing what your clients need and want.
Conducting a good research on your market will also help you outwit competitors as this will be a good way to learn firsthand from your target market on what they want, what they prefer so you can conceptualize on the improvements that you want to do with your products. If you are thinking of conducting a research for your business, and you want to explore the market research techniques and methods that you can use, here are some ideas that may be of help.
1. Surveys. Surveys are among the most common and one of the best ways to gather data for your research. Of course, aside from getting answers from direct from the individual, you can also solicit a good and specific answer especially if you can ask follow up questions.
You can however do the surveys in many other ways as well. You can do surveys through questionnaire form and interview the person directly, or you can mail them, although mailing them generates lesser response than doing the interview personally. You can also do it as an online survey or through telephone. Of course, your choice of these market research techniques can be based on the cost, the turnout, as well as the reliability of the data gathered.
2. Focus group discussions. This is also another way of gathering data for your business research. This actually involves discussing a certain topic in a group and collecting their ideas about it. The discussion is then documented, either by either videotaping or by observing. This is also a fast technique to get data as well.
3. Interviewing the respondents personally. Indeed, if you want to know what your market is like and what are their thoughts, you can go and interview them personally. With personal interview, you can also ask open-ended questions that allow you to gather more data. Unlike those with questionnaires, these are usually unstructured interviews. These however may be less reliable than surveys and focus group discussions.
Aside from these data gathering methods, you can also use other market research techniques such as gathering data from free secondary sources and then do the primary data gathering if you think you need more specific data. However, going for the primary data is a good choice in your research especially if you want to outsmart your competitors, as this will often give you good and accurate data on the behavior of your market.
With accurate data, you will also be guided correctly on what to do or improve. Indeed, if you want to move ahead of the competition, do your market research. Techniques, methods and strategies in doing so are readily available and you can even do so with lesser costs as well.