It is important to conduct market research in order to understand your customers plus your competition more. Also, this essential component of your small business success can help identify trends, which affect sales as well as your profitability. However, conducting any successful market research involves planning as well as strategy. Below are some of the common mistakes that are prevalent with small businesses when carrying out market research. They include:
1 Considering it too costly: Okay one of the major challenges facing small businesses today is cost. Many small businesses believe that surveys as well as focus groups are unaffordable. And, yes marketing research can cost as much as a few thousands of dollars to more than $20,000. But this should not discourage any small business owner from ensuring this is done. Since a good market research is invaluable. Another option to consider with respect to this is for one to carry this out by himself /herself. However, the challenge with this option is in not doing a thorough job.
2 Not knowing what to look for: Another challenge that small businesses can experience with respect to conducting market research is that of not having specific questions or enquiries to base research on. Anyone conducting a market research should identify the particular questions that he wants answers to. The more specific and direct your queries or questions are the more useful the research results will be to you.
3 Relying on feedback from those who are close to you: A mistake that is common with new start-ups is in getting feedback from family and friends regarding your products and services. Such people will naturally not want to hurt you. And, so constitute the worst selection that you can have of a focus-group. What you should do instead is to speak with real customers as par the pros as well as the cons of what you are offering.
4 Depending on a single set of data: Whether the data in question is the United States Census or just another survey conducted by you, relying on a single set of data will most likely not be enough to get a good picture of the people that fall within your target audience. Therefore, there is need for you to make use of different sets of data from primary as well as secondary sources.
5 The “who needs market research attitude”: Many because of the number of years they have spent in their respective industries may adopt this kind of attitude. However, carrying on with a baggage of preconceived notions regarding the needs as well as the wants of your customers may only result in adversely affecting your business in the long-run. You should test or confirm your assumptions to get real insight regarding your customer’s attitudes or behavior.
6 Ignoring market research data: Many times the information that is gotten from market research is not in line with our expectations. And in the process of collecting this data and representing same statistically there is the tendency to misrepresent or “mis-present” such information. This should be avoided as this will only serve to lay a foundation for marketing efforts that is not in line with the real world.
So there it is in a nutshell; common market research mistakes. Now if you are still in doubt about the value in conducting a market research, then consider this; it can help small business firms to discover hidden niches as well as help them to identify new business opportunities that are available with existing clients.
Author: These days I am writing like a mad. I have been blogging for past 6 months and I work for market research company in LA. Feel free to ask me about customer churn, customer retention, and customer analytics.