Chefs say that the secret sauce for delicious food is love. We say that the secret sauce for triumphant business is market research. CEO, Fred Cary and Chandler Martin, Senior Content and Business Development Strategist at IdeaPros, Chandler will share with you a recipe for startup success that we have been developing for years. Are you ready to enter the entrepreneurial kitchen and make some magic?
The Foundations of a Great Business
In our previous articles, we talked about ethics as a foundational element for any organization as it establishes what you do, how you treat your customers, employees, suppliers, and distribution partners. It is the moral layer of your company’s foundation that sets the direction you will take and defines decisions you will make.
The practical layer of that same foundation is market research. This will tell you if there is space for you in the sector you want to be a part of. It will help you analyze competitors and understand what customers want. It is a foundation of a house you want to build. You don’t want to start building walls, windows, doors, and the roof before you have a solid underlying structure beneath them.
“Market research is fundamental to any hope of having anything that becomes successful as an organization.” – Fred Cary
The first phase of the process is researching the market and your competitive landscape. You want to know WHO your competitors are, WHAT are they doing, WHY are they doing that and what are their strengths and weaknesses.
In this phase, you also define your value proposition and what you think you can bring to the market. Focusing on competitor’s one-star reviews is crucial especially if you are in a sector that already has big players in it. You want to make sure you are not tackling their strongest points. Look for consistency in customers’ complaints, as it can help you turn those one-star reviews in five-star reviews for your company.
From this first phase, we get a lot of data, both qualitative and quantitative, and with our market research team, we look for actionable insights. It lets us see if there is a gap in the market, a problem that companies are not addressing correctly or assumptions about their customers that are not correct.
“You need to know where you are going to go to battle, who you’re going to be fighting, and how you’re going to win.” – Fred Cary
The other part of the data is information about our target market and ideal customer profile. We do market research reports, but we are speaking to the market as well. Customers’ feedback is essential, as we get a lot of information from it such as demographics and psychographics. Psychographic data refers to lifestyle attributes. For example, if potential customers like outdoor activities, do yoga, or are healthy food enthusiasts. This helps us come up with a strategy that will resonate with our potential customers.
We use customer surveys to confirm our assumptions about the market. It is fundamental to do that before you even think about going into the market with a product, app, or service.
Often entrepreneurs have this great idea they are invested in, and they think that just being passionate about it will get them through. Brute forcing your product into the market is not going to work. You have to have data and it has to be an iterative process.
Every entrepreneur needs to know how their product interacts with the market, what does the market say about it, is there a market for it at all, what do people think, and where are the opportunities?
“Passion is great and it will get you through some of the harder times, but data is fundamental.” – Chandler Martin
Data Analysis and Strategy Making
Now when we have our market research and customer surveys, the question is: What do we do with them? There are a lot of ways to get a solid report even if you don’t have a lot of experience with market research.
The hard part is to analyze it and use the information to make a business strategy that will give the results you want. For this, you WILL need someone with years of expertise. If you don’t have the expertise, find a strategic partner who does.
“Getting the data is the preliminary step in the market research process, analyzing the data, and figuring out how to use what you’ve learned is the SECRET SAUCE. “ -Fred Cary
The three ingredients of the perfect market research recipe are QUALITY DATA, IN-DEPTH REPORT SWOT analysis (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and DATA ANALYSIS. The first two ingredients are the tools and the third one is where the strategy comes in.
As the only strength you have is a unique product set, it is very important to understand how you are going to slip into the market compellingly. We can help you achieve just that!
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.