Understanding the market is important for creating all kinds of business plans. The information that you get through market research is the basis of all your critical strategies. Most firms underestimate the power of a well-conducted research. Nobody ignores it, but then nobody takes it seriously enough.
Good market research is the backbone of an effective plan. It answers many questions of many kinds that are important for business. There are two basic types of market research - primary and secondary. Basic difference between the two is the method of conducting the research. Whereas primary research is about collecting information by going out in the field, secondary research is based on already published studies and research data. It can be collected from various sources like Internet, research reports, books, newspapers, and archives.
How is Primary Research Conducted?
Primary research is what requires you to go out to the field. Data is collected through processes that involve direct interaction with the target consumer segment. It gives information on a number of things like what does the target audience think about your product category, how do they consume it, what are important considerations for choosing a particular brand, and what is the competition like. All these questions are answered directly as well as indirectly. Some of the popular research methods used to collect primary research data from consumers are personal interviews, focus group discussions, telephonic interviews, and questionnaires.
There are many market research firms that carry out the research on your behalf and give you a collated report along with key insights. Most business plan writing firms work with the best market research firms to source this data. Data received should have a balance of quantitative and qualitative information. Getting a detailed research report might be a little expensive. It is totally the client’s call to decide how detailed he wants the report to be. Intensive research requires more effort and is, therefore, more expensive.
What Does it Cover?
Besides a consumer behavior study, primary market research should also give information about the market scenario. You must know your competitors and their apparent strategies well. Understand their unique selling proposition, what has worked for them, what is their market share, and how difficult or easy it would be to penetrate into the market.
The information collected can be too much to handle. Most market research firms compress the data into charts, graphs, tables, and diagrams to make things easier for the reader. They also derive key insights from this research with the help of research analysts. Numbers and insights are really helpful while creating a business plan. This is your base, upon which a business plan would be conducted. All your strategies will be dependent on consumer and market data.
The sad part is that most entrepreneurs paste random research data in the business plan, just for the heck of it. Very few of them take it seriously and realize that it is critical to draft an effective plan. Investors are specifically interested in knowing how well acquainted you are with the market for your product. Do not commit the mistake of taking it lightly. Make sure you have a detailed market research report collected through primary and secondary research methods.
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