There has been a rapid growth in start-up landscape in India in the last few years. More and more people are creating local solutions and also understand the power of entrepreneurship. Having said that, an idea for a business and having adequate funds to set it up is not enough. Then what is the game-changing factor that makes any startup successful?
The answer is – Market and consumer research. It is imperative to have a clear understanding of the customer persona and deep insights on their perception of your product, services or solution you are offering. Most successful start-ups understand the power of research and have focused plans to generate data points to extract exciting trends and insights to increase their market and remain competitive.
Lack of research – The reason why startups struggle
Do you know why so many startups begin their journey with high hopes but fail miserably to sell their service or products to customers? It is the lack of research and the vicious cycle of acting on recency. Many startup owners do not take time to nurture the idea behind their business or invest enough resources to align themselves to a particular segment of customers. Many small business owners believe that with minimal effort and indicative performance will win them investments from senior ventures and capitalists. Unfortunately, most funders rely on data and extrapolative statistics to make their decision to fund a certain enterprise. All budding business owners need to strategise their way forward to create a viable product, service or solution that attracts funding opportunities and has the potential to scale up.
Significance of market and customer research
If you ask successful startup founders the reason behind the success of their company, the unanimous answer would be – research. Market research helps the startup owner to crack the success code! You can determine what the customers expect from the services you offer and alter the offerings to satisfy their requirements.
Extensive market research also helps identify the potential market segments to place your products and offerings. WIth the proper research and survey techniques you can estimate the the demand for your product/service and also the section of the market that is going to be easiest to capture.
Do you have a customer base? – Create one with research
Increasing your market capitalisation is always challenging in the initial stage. With proper marketing efforts and distribution channels in place, you will be able to tap into the set target consumers. Make sure that you are marketing a solution and benefits the product will provide to your customers. People are looking for the most valuable product in the market and that needs to be your unique selling points or USP. The same is true for a service-based start-up, as the clients are unaware of your service benefits and credibility. By investing in in-depth market review you can develop marketing and distribution strategies to aim at the bull’s eye. Research and market evaluation genuinely helps the startups to acquire the first set of consumers and kickstart their journey towards success.
Research to gain a competitive edge
Extensive market research also helps a startup learn what mistakes to avoid. If you, as a startup founder, are aware of what marketing techniques your business peers are employing, you can get a better insight. This way, you can think out of the box and experiment with your offerings to draw the customers. It is highly effective and crucial for any startup starting off its journey. You can recognize areas where you can gain a competitive edge. Simultaneously, it is possible to identify the areas to focus on for bringing success to your brand. You can learn so much through competitor research that helps you in several ways in business operations.
Understand the best ways to make your business run
It is impossible for a startup founder to be aware of the best business practices from day one! How can the owners learn better and realize their mistakes? It is only possible through extensive research and in-depth analysis. Only conducting market research is insufficient. It is the half-part of the procedure, that transforms a startup into a successful brand.
The startup owner has to analyze the data obtained in the process. Altering the existing strategy as per the learnings is a beginner’s step towards success. You can understand the practicalities of change much better with in-depth research and analysis.
Different types of market research – There are two kinds of market research techniques. There is a systematic pattern that every startup owner follows to ensure they get quality data for for better analysis and insights.
- Primary research and its ways
When data is collected from directly from the source of information, it is considered primary research. Primary research is conducted when you cannot rely on secondary sources or if research on chosen hypothesis has never been conducted before. Direct communication techniques such as online surveys, offline interviews and group discussions are the several ways to conduct primary research.
- Secondary research and its ways
Secondary research comprises of using already existing data sources to further process and analyse to confirm your hypothesis. It is very important to check the validity of the source and also it’s application in your line of business. To get Secondary research data you can access organized information from public and private sources like – media houses, private research firms, online forums, government agencies, education research institutes and many more.
Be systematic with your research techniques.
It is essential to follow a pattern in the research you conduct. First, you should decide the starting point to get all the data you require. Then comes the step where you gather data and information to analyze later. one you have proper information, take sufficient time analyse this data to understand the your potential customers and their needs and requirements. Go back to check your sources several times to make sure you are not missing out any valuable input. If you can measure what you can do, you are on your way to success.
Gain better customer perspective with extensive research
Research helps you attain a better customer perspective. You can recognize the requirements conveniently and incorporate the changes required in the products or services that you offer. Accelerate the success of your startup with research with a holistic approach to meet the expectation of the target audience. It will help you avoid the common mistakes other startups make at the initial stage. Staying aware of the existing market conditions and needs always keeps you one step ahead of the rest.
Final note – Reduce the risks in the long run with research.
With research techniques and mindful analysis, mitigate the risks in business operations. Gain an overall idea about business through practical learnings and the obtained data through primary and secondary research. Make the best decisions for your startups and witness them expand into a large enterprise.