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Understanding Your UK Small Business Customers: Conducting Market Research

When it comes to the preparation you make for the launching of your business, market research is essential. It is a necessary step towards assessing the importance of any external factors. It is paramount that you research the market you are looking to enter. That way, you can ensure that your business is heading in the best direction. 

Market research is important in helping to answer a number of questions, such as:

  • Is there anyone who is likely to buy my service or product?
  • How many people might buy it and does this make for a good market?
  • Where can I find these potential customers?
  • How much might they be prepared to pay?
  • Do they really like my product?

If you don’t have the answer to these questions, then you may have been wasting your time developing and costing up your product or service only to have misread your potential market. This is the type of thing that you need to do right from the very beginning. When done properly, it can really help you to grow your business effectively and to its full potential. 

Market research however is a rather broad term and there are several different techniques you can use. Ion general however market research falls into two different categories. 

Quantitative and qualitative – what is the difference?

Quantitative research is defined as the type of research that look at mathematics and statistical analysis. This is used when you need to define a numerical output for example calculating the size or sizes of your product. Surveying a set number of individuals in the relative field will give you a rough idea of the kind of interest your product may generate, and this will allow you to extrapolate the response you might get on a bigger scale. 

Qualitive market reseat on the other hand differs in that it is more opinion based that numbers based. It can however be used to help understand or explain quantitative research. Whilst also offering those insights that could allow you to improve your proposition by looking at peoples opinion and seeing if there are any trends. Focus groups are a particularly good example of this. 

Each of these types has its own strengths and weaknesses and both offer very valid information that can help you. Quantitative analysis gives a much more clinical look at how attractive your product might be to the market, how likely it to fail or succeed and ultimately whether it will be a good business decision or not. 

Qualitative analysis however will help you to put colour to your insights and also build up a bigger pic. This can be invaluable when it comes to creating marketing materials and making improvements to your idea whilst also working out your pricing and market position. 

In an ideal world you do need a mixture of both types of research if you want to get a more reliable picture of the market and also work on providing the best possible proposition. 

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