Contributed by Paul Schwada – Locomotive Solutions
Small business advice for market research…
There are two methods that are the best, most practical ways for a small business to do market research. The first is finding insight into your market online. That one doesn’t take much explanation. It’s the collection of things you can identify through Google searches that help you understand who is out there and how many of them and how they think and interact (both customers and competitors).
But the best way to connect all the dots is to meet your potential customer at his place (business, home, street corner. wherever he thinks about your kind of product or service) and get him to explain how you fit into his life. It can’t be a sales call, and it can’t be an argument (“No, you really should care that my shampoo has vitamins in it!”).
I’ve done this kind of work in many markets and with a wide range of businesses.