Day 6 – Market Research

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Hi this is Victoria, author of Zest for Success, owner of The Bookkeeper Hub and HBA Encompass.  Today we’re gonna talk about market research.

A lot of people stress out about market research.  I’m not talking about getting hold of JP Morgan and getting phone calls.  I’m not talking about massive big polls that you’re trying to get to hundreds of thousands of people.  The first thing to do before you start any business is to see if there’s a market is to look at Google.  See how many people are selling the type of products that you want.  See where they are.  See their location.  And then see if there’s something that you can do that’s a little bit different to them to make you stand out.  So say for example you got to put a hairdresser, look up for Google for hairdressers on the Sunshine Coast.  There’s hundreds of them and then you think ‘well what can I do that’s different to someone else? Let me be a mobile hairdresser.’  There’s gonna be lots of old people or people at work or people looking after carriers, I don’t know, lots of people that can’t get to the hairdresser.  So then you google mobile hairdressers and see how many of them are.  If there’s not many of them, then you start looking and talking to your friends and family, and your acquaintances and start asking questions going: ‘hey I’m thinking about doing this, do you think there’s a market of it?’.  Where possible do you go out to your market?  Get on Facebook.  Facebook’s as amazing thing to find out if what it is that you’re looking at really is a viable product because I can tell you right now that your friends on Facebook will gonna give it to you honestly.  Create a poll on Facebook.  Ask your friends if they wouldn’t mind sharing it because their friend is looking on starting a business.  It can, I’m not saying it’s gonna go viral but if you had thirty friends on Facebook who shared it.  Chances are you’re gonna get sixty people that are gonna respond.  It gives you an idea other than your friends and family.  Close friends and family are the worst example of someone who can tell you whether you have a viable product or a market for a product.  And there’s two reasons for that.  The first reason is that they’ll say, “Oh, no.  You can’t do that.  You’re doomed to fail.”  You get really negative people and they’re the people you want advising on your business.  Then you get the other person.  Number 2:  They’re like gonna — “Huh, yes.  Go for it.  Of course we’ll buy your products.”  But at the end of the day, it’s not your friends and family that you wanna buy day in day out.  You need real customers.  Another idea if you can’t find what you’re looking at doing where you are is using the power of Google again but looking outside where you are.  So things that perhaps are working in the city that you could use in wherever it is that you live.  So that mobile hairdresser, there might be no mobile hairdressers on the Sunshine Coast.  Google mobile hairdressers in Brisbane.  And you know what, you could even ring them.  If you gave a mobile hairdresser a call and say ‘hey, I’m looking at the start of a business.  That’s a mobile hairdressing business.  Would you mind if I pick your brains for two minutes?  Can you give me an address?  I’ll send you a bottle of wine.  Whatever it is that you need to do but there’s option there to get information.  I did a start-up weekend at the Sunshine Coast you know, a year or so ago.  And every team that was there had to prove the viability of their product.  Our team went and did a Google poll and sent it out to all our friends and family.  There were six of us there that had all different friends, not connected.  But one of the teams are producing a children’s toy.  So what did they do?  They hit the local park and they didn’t ask the kids if they liked the toys.  They asked the grandparents, the parents, the uncles, and the aunties.  Did they like the toy or did they think the children would like the toy?  How much the parents would pay for that toy?  And then they asked the kids do they liked the toy because what you wanna know is:  (a) does someone gonna buy.  It’s not the kids buying the toy.  It’s the parents and the grandparents buying the toy;  (b)  what is their price point.  How much they’re willing to pay; and (c) if they’re buying it for someone else does it someone else actually gonna like it.

It’s really an interesting thing.  But the thing is that — if you’ve got those fundamentals and those basics.    You’ve worked out.  You’ve got a product that is hopefully different to someone else’s and then you sure you’ve got a target market, then hopefully you’re doomed to success.

I see you tomorrow.  We’ll have a quick talk about operations.

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Day 5 – What’s Your Product
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Day 7 – Operations and Basic Viability

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