Sunday, August 1, 2010
Get Off On The Right Foot:Part 3 Start a Small Business Now
Now that you know that you are meant to build an empire starting from being a small business owner, you need to make one step towards creating your business NOW. Go ahead and read this article from Entrepreneur Philippines magazine and you will learn a lot.
GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Make sound business decisions -- even before you start your enterprise -- based on solid market research.
IT IS ALWAYS wise to exercise caution, or as the saying goes, "look before you leap." New entrepreneurs taking the leap into a new business, therefore, would be prudent to scope out or research their market even before they put their first peso into their pet ventures.
Market research means collecting the information you need to make decisions about your business. It is the systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data relevant to selling the goods or services you produce.
Why research your market? As small business expert Susan Ward of About.com puts it, "Trying to start a small business without researching your potential market is as sensible as setting out for the North Pole with a surfboard."
Or, as noted Internet business expert Ian del Carmen of the Fireball Group of Companies says: "Do your research. Your amazing idea might not be the perfect business for you. What I always teach my students through my Internet-business coaching program is to find a market first before creating a product, not the other way around.
"If you think your beloved product would sell without extensive research -- if there is a ready market craving for that product -- you're one the wrong track," adds del Carmen, who has recently moved his growing business to the United States after years of operating locally.
Market research not only gets you on the right track, it is "a way of collecting information you can use to solve or avoid marketing problems," according to the Start Your Own Business book published by Entrepreneur Press USA (2004). The book adds: "It enables you to identify specific segments within a market that you want to target, and to create an identity for your product or service that separates it from your competition."
Ward stresses that market research isn't something you shelve when you're working on your business plan; in fact, it should come before a business plan, and then "needs to be an integral, ongoing part of your business' development," she says.
Although it is likewise true that many businesses have succeeded without researching their markets -- the old "build it and they will come" tactic does work -- the wise entrepreneur knows that market research will help minimize the risks that must be taken.
"It is about finding the answers to a particular question," Michelle Perez, president of the marketing communications first Satisfind, says in the ENTREPRENEUR Philippines bookazine The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Own Business (2007). "Understanding customers, how they look at the product or service, and what kind of impact that product or service has on them [is the heart of market research]."
Continue on Part 4 of Start a Small Business Now: RESEARCH BASICS
Rewrite from Entrepreneur Philippines
January – February 2010 issue. All rights reserved.