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Getting Your Business Ahead: Top Tips To Up Your Market Research Game

There is no question: to build your business, it is crucial to keep a close eye on your competition.  Passive, silent watching does not get results.

For your market research to be effective, it is vital that you apply a few key techniques to ensure that you get the most benefit from your efforts:

Be focused and consistent

Decide what you want to find out, and go after that. There is little point researching your competitors if you are not prepared, and do not have a consistent set of data that you want to achieve from each

Also only compare like with like. For every business that you research, you should ensure that you have a template research sheet, which would comprise questions based on the data that you have already identified as being required

Leave your personal views at the door

Ensure research is objective. I tend to see this with many business owners, who often do not  even realise that their vision is fogged by some inbuilt bias against certain competitors.

One of the biggest problems with researching competitors is that personal bias can slip into your views, particularly when you consider how there is no way to measure qualitative data.

A great example would be a local burger bar, which could be biased against McDonald’s because they believe that there is a difference in the quality of beef used.

However, most people looking at McDonald’s without bias would agree that it is a fantastic business model, which provides a fit-for-purpose product for its customers, in a cost-efficient and rapid manner.

Do not spend a fortune

Use free of charge (or low cost) resources where you can. I am a firm believer that, because much of the information you need can be obtained by you with some effort and time, this should be a low cost activity

There are, however, many agencies willing to perform your market research for you for a (often sizeable) fee.

Make use of resources that are available to you, including Companies House data, data from corporate credit appraisers, pricing information from potential suppliers, and of course the internet (social media, Google...).


Be sure to use your own eyes and ears

Usually the best way to see what is happening in the world of your competitors. Talk to your customers, attend events, get out there and see for yourself.

Carl Reader

Carl Reader

Owns some businesses, written some books, and likes to talk. A lot.

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