Accurate market research can make or break your business. Knowing your market means you know exactly what products your customers want (and will pay money for), what price they want to pay, how they want to receive them, and about how many you’ll sell. Getting this recipe correct quickly and cost effectively can greatly enhance your profitability and cash flow.
Here are some great resources for market research that I’ve used extensively, with good results, in my own business.
- www.census.gov provides great micro and macro level demographic data based on NAICS industry codes.
- www.terapeak.com offers access to market data for eBay and Amazon, and can be used to research markets by keyword, seller ID, category, and other segmentation options.
- Google searching is also a great way to gather market data. Depending on your industry, market, and business there can be lots of great free resources.
- Research Reports are available for purchase from reputable companies but often sell for thousands of dollars. If you don’t have the budget for this you can still review the abstracts for free and they often have valuable bits of information.
- Industry Organizations have lots of great market data gathered from major industry players and reported on in aggregate. Visit their website to see what is available.
- Your Competition, especially publicly traded companies, often have valuable market data and relevant industry statistics readily available on the investors page of their website. Pour through the quarterly and annual statements, review press releases, and see what other information they have published.
- Keyword Research – If you have an online component to your business, performing keyword research can provide priceless insight into what people are searching for on the internet. It is also a key component of SEO (search engine optimization) to drive free traffic to your site. Google Adwords is a great free tool, and others tools are available as well.
After spending some time using some or all of these techniques, you will surely have a better grasp of your market, and can use that knowledge to craft a winning value proposition that your customers won’t be able to resist!