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Boost your Small Business with Marketing Research – Superhero Style!

A guest blog by Fairy Dharawat

In today’s world of competitive market, if you are thinking of opening your very own business, you should be congratulated. Congratulations then, for finally getting up the courage to open your own venture. With today’s world of cut throat competition, even big corporate houses are feeling the heat in order to stay up to date in the market. Let me not even start with shoppers who are ‘dumped’ with so many products that they are clueless sometimes to their needs. There was a time when there was something called a ‘shopping experience’ but today it has only remains as a term due to the competition, brands are facing. So how do you hold your brand new business in a safe position? What should you do, to not fall in the category of ‘failed businesses’? What should you do to give these big businesses a run for their money? Well I present you with Market Research.

You must have heard this term. You must have also heard that only big corporate honchos use this RnD (research and development) technique, for they can afford it, but here I say that small business must carry out MR. The process needn’t be expensive, although it can be time consuming.

Competition: Always remember you are competing with the ‘big daddies’ of business. The corporations have already done what you are doing. Say you are creating a new series of comic; you need to know there is always – Marvel. For every business there is something that makes them tick. The example of comics proves my point effectively. There are thousands of already existing heroes, why should your hero be any different and why should people even consider glancing over it. This is where Market Research comes in.

What is MR you may ask?

MR (Market research) is the process a detailed study of a specific market problem or a situation that the market faces or may face in future. It is about understanding future threats to your business venture and curbing the seed of a problem before it blows up into a full grown problem.

You need to know what you are dealing with.

Selection of location and Target market:

MR helps you to know your target market with the help of surveys and tools which gather information and solve potential problems. From our example of comic, we can say;

You do business where there is scope of improvement. You might have new idea that people will be interested in.

If you plan to release a comic in the target area, a small bunch of questions may be,

· Do people in the area like comics?

· Is there a hub of comic store?

· How many people like super hero comics?

· What kind of heroes do people of today in the area look up to?

· Making list of heroes’ people like in the target area.

· Should you even consider the idea after getting to know the market?

· Will you be able to thrive in the environment?

· What new characters are you introducing which would make reader fall in love with your character?

· What would make the comic library stock your monthly or quarterly issues?

· Which target audience you are looking for?

These are just some of the questions that you need to ask to match your business to the needs of your customers.

Pricing: The most important element of any business

What pricing are you going to decide on? Communicating with potential comic lovers is a better option. As a new entrant, you can create awareness for your hero, and then price it eventually as per the scenario. You may want to price it less to garner readership. Let the reader get to know the characters and want to fall in the alternate world of your super hero.

These answers can be very helpful by undertaking MR as this is the tool which gauges the problems beforehand and provides suitable answers. MR is also important for decision making skills in regards to quality of product, adding new features, improving the distribution system and an effective promotion programme.

Market Research is about asking questions and then tailoring the product to the customer, it can improve the business, but it can also help you tailor the whole business to the customer from the outset. This makes for efficiency, increased sales and a business that runs smoothly. Whether you are marketing a new comic or a high tech gadget; the principles are the same. Ask questions and get to know exactly what your potential customers want and need.

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