No matter what type of product or service they sell, many small business owners have to go through a similar process to turn an idea into a real company. From creating a business plan to registering your business with the proper government organisations, the process can include a mix of practical and legal steps.
A great idea won't always turn into a successful business. Even if you develop an amazing product, your business could still fail if you can't figure out how to sell it at a price that works for your ideal customer. Similarly, if your product doesn't help solve a customer's wants or needs, then you could have trouble selling it regardless of how little it costs.
You need customers who want and can afford your product or service. And you'll need to convince them that they should buy your products or services over a competitor's product line.
Market research can help you understand why a customer will buy what you are selling. It could help you determine whether you're offering the right product for your ideal customer and if your business idea is likely to succeed. Doing this work now can save you time and money later.
You could start by interviewing potential customers to see if they might like your product or service and how much they're willing to pay for it. Start with friends and family, but branch out to strangers you meet in person or online. In most cases, you are sure to get both positive and negative feedback. If you get the latter, think of ways to modify or change your product that would resolve your potential customer's concern.
Online reviews are another potential source of information. Read reviews of similar businesses or products and see what customers like and dislike. If you can improve on the areas that they dislike, then you may be able to offer a better product or service.
Government organizations also collect and organize demographic and behavioral data about consumers, information you can review for free while doing market research. If you're planning on opening a retail location, see if your local city or regional government has any additional resources. Some local governments might have statistics about similar businesses and different neighborhoods.