I am wanting to do some research in a niche market for an entrepreneurial friend, and without doubt one of the best options is to ask your competitor. How do you ask your competitor for market...
Ling Lee, that is a really hard question to answer with no context! But I'll give it a go.
The very first thing you have to do is decide whether you are going to be upfront about the fact that you are a (potential) competitor or whether you are simply going to pose as someone interested in the area and see what they will share.
There are cases where similar businesses are not competitors - often because they are in different locations and customers want someone local, or possibly two restaurants on the same street offering different cuisines - but more likely you will find it is not in their interest to share with a potential competitor. So an honest approach may limit the amount of information you get.
If you want to be honest (and depending what stage your entrepreneurial friend is at), one approach is to explain that you are trying to decide between a number of niches and you'd really appreciate any information about whether this is a good niche to invest time and money into.
If you're happy not to disclose who you are, you can often get a lot of information by ringing up posing as a potential customer and just asking questions chattily to see what comes out of it.
Whatever you decide, the general rules for gathering information are a) be polite and friendly b) respect their time and if they prefer fix a time to call back which is more convenient for them c) say thank you and d) ask them what other sources (publications, associations, websites, individuals) they think might be helpful for you in your research.
Customers won't go out of their way to give feedback when things are running smoothly, but often there is still a lot of room for improvement and feedback to be received.
Ongoing and regular communications both ways reminds your customers that you care and provides that window to continue the flow or feedback and constant improvement.
How to conduct a comprehensive market research? What resources would you recommend? Share your tips and experience.
The best way to start any research is, to begin with, your goals. First, outline clearly what you are aiming to achieve with your research. This will ensure your research has a clear scope and direction.
Some broad areas of research are outlined below.
As with any venture, it is vital to understand your customer when beginning a new professional services venture. Create a clear outline of your customer to help direct your business. Some questions to ask include:
An important element to consider is the demand for the services you intend to offer. Research how much demand there is for your offering. Google Trends can be useful for this type of research.
What's the best and most cost effective ways to do a market research for a new business idea, product or service? Is it better to outsource it and hire a market research company?
Market research is a critical tool for business yet often overlooked or underutilized. Are real customers willing to pay real money for your product or service? If so you have a real business. Do not just ask your friends & family for feedback, they do not want to hurt your feelings and will not be objective. Do market research with real customers. Whether you conduct qualtitative (focus groups or a listening tour) or quantitative reseach using Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for example does not matter. Just make sure you ask questions in an objective way so you get real feedback that is useful. Unless you have expertise in house it makes sense to engage an indepeendent outsider who can help draft the questionaire otherwise it can be garbage in and garbage out wasting time with useless informtion. Research does not require big budgets but it does need to be objctive to gain real customer insights.
Hi All, I am conducting a short survey and would love anyone and everyone to participate. If I can get answers from the SavvySME forum I can at least guarantee the answers come from real...
I have an animal hospital and I want to increase the profit of my business or my audience.
It is easy to suggest generalities, however what has proven popular on social media has little bearing on fiscal reality and your practice’s commercial aspirations. You will find that there is a great deal of emphasis placed on technology and rather obvious communications platforms, and whilst they may eventually be considered relevant, it is what you say and to whom that must dictate the avenues you subsequently select.Your business requires some effective differentiators, possibly one or two may have already been identified. Look at what other Vets are doing and analyse what you can do that will eclipses them. Set out to establish a business that the others will need to compete with, rather than following any fad driven trends. There is little point in publishing cutesy photos or using your valuable time on a blog that will likely only ever be read by your immediate family!As far as getting to know more about your audience, that initially mandates that that your niche market entry point (and the audience that represents), must initially be aligned to your specific skill set and then identified.
What makes you think you need to be different from your competitors?No, I'm not trying to be smart. It's a legitimate question. Do your customers or prospects buy based on differentiating factors? Do they value differentiation? If so, to what extent? If not, why are you trying to be different?Reading between the lines of your question, I'm guessing you're trying to find a "USP" for your business. Perhaps you're launching a new product into a highly commoditised market, or perhaps your services are the same as other providers in your industry.In my view, the idea of a traditional marketing USP is misguided, outdated and not based on empirical evidence. People buy the product/service that most easily fulfils their needs/desires, which may not necessarily be the one different from all others.Take a good look at your competitors. Are they in themselves differentiated? Or are they all pretty much the same, with superficial, meaningless distinctions? For example: one is red, another blue. One provides services for industry A, another industry B. Take a good look at their customers. Are they in themselves differentiated? Notwithstanding the nature of the product/service, are they all the same – a cross-section of the market?So why differentiate when being distinctive will do?
In Australia, the ABS has some great stats. Some you have to pay for others not. Their help desk staff are awesome at helping you mine the information you are searching for too.
Industry organizations will generally have good stats around their members too - even if they are not 'formalised' . Sometimes making the call and asking is a great place to start.
Were you looking for something in particular?
I typically review the major players and the industry and look at what they aren't doing well, or aren't doing at all. Those gaps are the best opportunities.
After that, I'll do research into how much a potential revenue / profit is happening within that industry. I'm essentially trying to determine if the gap is a large enough opportunity to pursue for the potential money it could generate.
Once I know that, it is one to researching the major demographics that are interested in those types of products and services. I can help narrow my target users as well as find out what is currently frustrating and delighting them.