| Five C's of Market Research |
by Rozey Gean
Concept, Criticism, Competition, Credibility, Common Interest
Be prepared to get LOTS of criticism and to put it to good use. Perhaps, a survey in your intended market - could provide some valuable information to be used in making your product better.
Ask questions like: Is there a need? Would YOU buy it? What price would you expect to pay for it? Is there a better way to provide it?
Remembering what we stated above, (there's always a better way to provide a concept) - your received criticism should be used to enhance the product or service before you release it to your market. This step will save you time and money.
It's important to remember - don't try to be good at everything - just be good at something! People will remember you for it.
If you are offering a product which is in competition from an existing business, be prepared to handle your business so it answers the following questions:
If you can't answer the above points - and KNOW what makes your product more unique than the competition, you won't be able to relay that to your market.
Refine your marketing
Define the needs of your market by listening to the customers and understanding what their needs are. Does your product fill that need? Is there something more you could do, to make it more attractive to your market? Is your product a solution to a problem in your market? How will you handle customer service complaints? What are you guarantees to your customers?
An Interesting Fact:
Most companies fail to realize, 80% of future company sales will depend on repeat orders and referrals from satisfied customers. Your satisfied customers are the best and cheapest source of advertising; bringing additional business through referrals. Exceed your customers expectations and they'll be back and will refer you to others. Remember, those that have been referred to you, have been presold on your products.
(Gaining the edge) - Community involvement. People like to buy from friends. The more involved you become with your community, the more friends you will make.
I'm not talking about joining the local YMCA just to make business contacts either. You need to be "sincere" in your approach and willing to work hard for the community you live in. Hard work and perseverance will eventually pay off as members of the community will remember you by your deeds and eventually will refer you to others that need your services.
If you don't the available time to offer your community, there are other ways you could provide them with your services.
(Networking) - is a necessity to learn. By networking with other business owners, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. You will learn new ideas to do business and meet other experienced business owners who can help you exceed in your market.
Some ways to network:
It's better explained as "a small community" made up of business owners, willing to help one another to gain valuable information to be utilized in their market.
Networking individuals are glad to help those in their group.
You can join any association and in return, receive valuable leads who will tell others about your business. You could create a database of the business owners you have exchanged business cards with, and call them in the future to do business or to find additional information regarding a need.
If you can't find a suitable networking group to help you - you could start your own Networking Community - made up of the small businesses located within a 30 mile radius of your own business.
THINK....there are plenty of ways you could gain exposure for your business. Most ideas, are common sense methods where an individual takes the initiative to get it started! The best part of networking - it's FREE advertising for your business and for you.
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Rozey Gean has been working with a home-based business for the previous 13 years, and publishes a "How To" Newsletter for small business owners. Prior to her Web Site inception date, she moderated the "Women in Business" Newsgroup for BizyNet, an International network of businesses and professionals and had her work published in the 1994 Publication of "Free Electronic Networks, by William J. Shefski". Currently, she mentors others to help them streamline their telemanagement skills.
Visit her constantly changing, website at: http://www.printsourceone.com