If there’s one key to success in business, it’s finding out what people want. Everything else is something to work around: there are many routes to finance, from traditional bank loans to angel investors or even crowdfunding, so it’s not the single, vital key to success. Experience is certainly helpful, but as many first time entrepreneurs find success as serial founders finally trip over themselves and back the wrong horse.
The only thing that’s a marker for success is knowing what people want, so you can work out how to get it to them and turn a profit at the same time! The most important skill you can develop is learning what people want, so today we’re finding out about the different ways you can do that!
If you’re already running a business then you have a pool of people to draw on for your insights. When you’re trying to work out what need in a new product or offering, the simple answer is to ask. Handing out a questionnaire, a link to an online survey or even simply asking your customers service staff to ask a few key questions can give you the information you need to hone your designs for the market.
Beware of asking too much though – if you take too much of people’s time they’ll lose engagement and you won’t get the answers you need. Simple, easy to answer questions about what they like about your business and what you can build on will give you the necessary insights without requiring too much of people.
If you’re not in the position to poll existing customers or simply want a more complete picture, you’ll need to reach further afield. Working with a market research company long term can be expensive but in the short term you might find it very helpful. They can help you with Omnibus marketing – getting a few questions in a broad, general survey that goes out to lots of people and comes back not just with their answers but also with all the demographic information you need to start building a picture of your market.
It doesn’t cost as much as a unique, dedicated market research campaign, but if you work with experts to make sure you’re asking the right questions, you might find it gives you precisely the insights you’ve been looking for.