It’s no secret that startup businesses have financial struggles. After all, there are so many things that need to be completed, but there’s never enough funds to finance everything. That’s why startup businesses oftentimes skip a few steps during their development. Market research, for example, is a step that’s most commonly left out. This, however, is a major mistake, because it can easily lead to business failure. As a matter of fact, 42% of startups fail because of the poor product-market fit and lack of market demand.
That can easily be averted by conducting thorough market research. However, market research requires many resources and a lot of dedication. Startup owners usually lack the proper funds or don’t want to spend their already scarce budget on such efforts. Needless to say, market research is crucial for startups because it allows you to identify your target audience, determine the right approach and test out your business ideas. Therefore, here are a few low-budget market research strategies for startups.
Interview potential customers
It’s not too difficult to find the answers you need if you know where to look. You can create a questionnaire that consists of the most important questions you need answers to, regarding your business idea. You can hand out the questionnaire to the public and ask them to fill in the answers. However, you should do some basic research first.
For instance, you can check online for businesses that are based on a similar idea to determine which type of audience is interested in their products or services. You can later target those audiences in public. As an example, public places, such as malls, college campuses and so on, are good places to find your audience. This method is more demanding and requires a lot of effort, but it won’t make a huge dent in your budget. Besides, any kind of information is better than having nothing at all.
Conduct online surveys
The online world brings people closer together. You can take advantage of that opportunity to do some market research for your startup. Surveying people is a great way to get answers from many people at once. In addition, it’s less demanding than tracking people outdoors and handing out questionnaires. Moreover, you’re more likely to get more viable information from online surveys, as people have more time to commit to providing you with reliable answers.
What’s more, people are more open online and are more willing to voice their opinion. By conducting online surveys, you can gather a lot of information from a large number of people. That data can help you strategize further and develop your business idea. Furthermore, you can also invest in paid surveys, in order to obtain more objective information. After all, people are more willing to take your survey seriously when they have something to gain in return.
Be active on social media
Social media platforms house a great number of people. They are also quite business-friendly. That means that the online audience pretty much expects someone to approach them with a business idea in mind and ask them various questions. You can easily find your target audience on social media networks and start building more personal and long-lasting relationships with them. In addition, you can also leverage social media to conduct market research with little to no cost at all.
Your social followers will give you feedback on your business idea and your startup in general. People prefer to be a part of something, especially if your startup has the potential to solve specific problems and meet customer expectations in the future. You can also find inspiration such as finding a specific niche to operate in or leveraging the latest trends to give your startup a competitive advantage.
Networking is an activity every business owner needs to commit to. The main reason is that you can meet interesting people and acquaintances who can offer valuable advice and information on how to develop your startup further. You may have to invest in networking from time to time by taking people out for lunch, designing and printing business cards and so on.
However, that investment will yield very important and valuable information regarding your startup. You can also find a business partner or a mentor who will help you out. Make sure you attend important events and gatherings related to the industry you wish to operate in. That way, you’ll surely find relevant information that will aid you in your market research.
Market research is simply essential for any business, but most importantly for startups. Without proper market research, you have no means of knowing if your decisions and strategies are right for your business. Research doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s necessary for reaching business success.