As a new business owner with a killer idea, you’re probably eager to get your product or service into the market as quickly as possible – but are you really ready? If you haven’t taken the time to research your market or get feedback from your potential customers, the answer is no.
You might think your product is the next iPhone or Twitter, but will consumers agree? Will they turn out in numbers to buy the gadget or service you have invested your blood, sweat, tears – and sometimes your life savings – to create? Too many start-ups fail because they didn’t verify a market need before launching.
Fast Company’s Triin Linamagi writes:
“Consumers are highly resistant to change and biased against trying a new product. Founders tend to believe their product is great since they’re always the first to try new products themselves. But mainstream consumers might not always understand why or how to use the new products. In this instance, startup entrepreneurs might think the market should change to fit their vision, but this thinking ignores the market realities.”
In the article, Linamagi also cited a survey of start-ups in which 20 percent of owners said their business’ failure was likely due to lack of market research. In addition, the survey showed that 19 percent of failed start-ups ignored the competition, so a review of competitors should be part of your market research strategy.
Entrepreneur contributor Karen E. Spaeder echoes the advice that start-ups need to do market research and gather customer feedback before launch. She writes:
“Market research, then, can prove invaluable in determining your idea’s potential…Your aim is to gain a general sense of the type of customer your product or service will serve-or at least to being willing to find out through the research process.”
If you don’t know where to begin, start with Spaeder’s outline for how to analyze your idea and its place in the market. The Small Business Administration also offers some market research resources.
Finally, as a small business attorney specializing in intellectual property, I should remind you that you need to research any potential IP conflicts with regard to your idea. Your business attorney can help you.
If you are an emerging business owner looking for small business legal advice, including business entity formation, business contracts and intellectual property protection, contact EmergeCounsel today.