To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Market research is the process of analyzing data to help you understand which products and services are in demand, and how to be competitive. Market research can also provide valuable insight to help you:
• Reduce business risks
• Spot current and upcoming problems in your industry
• Identify sales opportunities
How to Conduct Market Research Before you start your business, understand the basics of market research by following these steps: 1. Identify Official Government Sources of Market and Industry Data The government offers a wealth of data and information about businesses, industries and economic conditions that can aid in conducting market research. These sources provide valuable information about your customers and competitors:
• Economic Indicators
• Employment Statistics
• Income and Earnings
2. Identify Additional Sources of Analysis Trade groups, business magazines, academic institutions and other third parties gather and analyze research data about business trends. Use Internet and database searches to find information related to your location and industry. 3. Understand the International Marketplace Today’s economy is a globalized marketplace, so it’s important to understand the international factors that influence your business. These resources will help you to research potential international markets for your products or services:
• Market Research Guide for Exporters: Identifies resources for business owners seeking to sell their products abroad.
• Country Market Research: Reports on trade issues in countries across the globe.
• BuyUSA.gov: Helps U.S. companies find new international business partners.