You’ve got the ideas, the talent and the enthusiasm, but before you jump right in make sure you are well prepared. For those thinking of starting a new business one of the most common phrases heard is “Do your homework”.
Sound advice, but what exactly does it mean?
Follow our market research guide to give yourself the best possible chance to succeed and avoid some common pitfalls.
Doing the research
There are lots of resources available – internet, libraries – but the best information is found by talking to as many people as possible. Pick up the phone, go out and visit – this is not the time to be shy.
We suggest some typical questions below, but you will have lots more. And talking to people should generate more questions.
Before you start your detailed market research you need to be clear about the product or service you will offer, the type of customer who will buy it and the location in which you will operate.
Have your basic business plan (including your marketing plan) in place and then adjust it as you research.
The Weddings Market
You need to get some firm numbers about weddings in the area you will cover.
How many couples living in the area marry each year?
How many weddings take place in the area?
How many regular wedding venues are there?
What is the typical spend of brides in this area?
Some areas may have plenty of engaged couples living there, but few actual weddings (many city suburbs). How would this affect your ability to market your product or service?
How will your customers find out about you?
Depending on your marketing plan, you will want to check:
Bridal fairs held (and are they any good)
Advertising rates for any publications you plan to use
Wedding planners – how do they choose suppliers to work with
Networking – what are the opportunities for networking and partnerships.
Take a good look at the competition.
How many other businesses are there targeting the same customer?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Why should people buy from you rather than them?
A little competition is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if a small town has 2 bridal dress shops, brides from a wider area will consider it worthwhile visiting – if there is only one, they may decide it is too far.
If there is no competition ask yourself why.