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How Do You Go About Your Market Research?

Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
If you're currently thinking about setting up a business, how much market research are you doing? Or, if you are already set up, what did you do at the beginning?

I was in touch with a lot of others in the industry, because I wanted to make sure that my business was a) pitched correctly and b) not in absolute direct competition with any other business in the immediate area. This was important to me. I also sent surveys to a lot of authors (we're an editing business) and asked them questions about their previous experiences with editors. So all in all it brought great results and gave us some really good ideas!
 
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Branded Merchandise

New Member
I think obviously it is best to do as much research as you can. The best way for me is just talking to people and finding out more about the industry and industry issues etc. Maybe go to a trade show or 2, especially if there are speakers

However in my experience, you don't really know anything until you start the business. 99% of the issues I've encountered have all been things I had not anticipated and probably would never have done, no matter how much research I did
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
However in my experience, you don't really know anything until you start the business. 99% of the issues I've encountered have all been things I had not anticipated and probably would never have done, no matter how much research I did
This is absolutely true. So, you always need a back up plan for everything, plus lots of funds in case something happens to go wrong!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
We are a music tuition business and we started by going around schools and asking parents and children what kind of provisions there already were for music classes (the answer was that there was shockingly little) and whether they would be willing to pay a little to have their child taught outside of school. Just talking to the people who will become your potential clients is key and can enlighten you as to the paths that you should take.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
We are a music tuition business and we started by going around schools and asking parents and children what kind of provisions there already were for music classes (the answer was that there was shockingly little) and whether they would be willing to pay a little to have their child taught outside of school. Just talking to the people who will become your potential clients is key and can enlighten you as to the paths that you should take.
I'd have thought that parents would often prefer for children to have lessons outside of school. It gives them something to do, and means they won't have to miss lessons during the school day. I hated missing my school lessons in primary school, but by the time I was a teenager I truly appreciated the beauty of it and scheduled my music lessons for my least favourite school lessons, ha ha.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
I'd have thought that parents would often prefer for children to have lessons outside of school. It gives them something to do, and means they won't have to miss lessons during the school day. I hated missing my school lessons in primary school, but by the time I was a teenager I truly appreciated the beauty of it and scheduled my music lessons for my least favourite school lessons, ha ha.
That is the case, but as you said children often prefer to have their lessons in school time for that very reason, particularly the older ones. But we don't just do lessons, we do small groups, orchestras and bands made up from children of a similar standard, we put on concerts every couple of months and we hold social events, so this tends to attract the children's attention to make up for the fact that they don't get to miss school!
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
That is the case, but as you said children often prefer to have their lessons in school time for that very reason, particularly the older ones. But we don't just do lessons, we do small groups, orchestras and bands made up from children of a similar standard, we put on concerts every couple of months and we hold social events, so this tends to attract the children's attention to make up for the fact that they don't get to miss school!
That sounds like a kind of educational youth club, brilliant! It's great that you're helping the kids to do something useful rather than the things that the papers say they get up to these days.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
That sounds like a kind of educational youth club, brilliant! It's great that you're helping the kids to do something useful rather than the things that the papers say they get up to these days.
That's the kind of thing we hoped to happen. Not only to be able to provide the kids with a musical education, but also hopefully to be able to link them up with like minded people who they would be able to be friends with for a long time to come.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Great thread this. Completely agree about talking to potential customers and others in the industry.

Research is one of the 9 pillars of starting a small business that we're trying to create over on StartUp Scotland. You can see the start of it here http://www.startupscotland.co.uk/research/

So this discussion is quite timely. What about other factors of research like price and competitors. How important do you think these are and how did you go about researching these?
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
Great thread this. Completely agree about talking to potential customers and others in the industry.

Research is one of the 9 pillars of starting a small business that we're trying to create over on StartUp Scotland. You can see the start of it here http://www.startupscotland.co.uk/research/

So this discussion is quite timely. What about other factors of research like price and competitors. How important do you think these are and how did you go about researching these?
I looked at price for the things I offer by Googling. Simple but usually effective. I think it's important to be around the right kind of price when you advertise because underselling yourself is as unprofessional as charging a fortune for something that isn't worth it. I actually hired a few competitors to do small jobs for me at the beginning. We needed them doing, and I needed information about how the business worked, so it worked out well!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
Great thread this. Completely agree about talking to potential customers and others in the industry.

Research is one of the 9 pillars of starting a small business that we're trying to create over on StartUp Scotland. You can see the start of it here http://www.startupscotland.co.uk/research/

So this discussion is quite timely. What about other factors of research like price and competitors. How important do you think these are and how did you go about researching these?
I think knowing who you're competing against is important, otherwise you could never get any work because there was someone doing something better for cheaper!
 
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Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I think knowing who you're competing against is important, otherwise you could never get any work because there was someone doing something better for cheaper!
I made the mistake of forgetting to do this with a business I set up when I left uni. I ended up wasting a lot of money and hardly earning a single penny. Never mind though, I learned from it, and I am a strong believer that that's all that matters in the end.
 
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