How to Build a Successful Online Business Using Market Research

How to Build a Successful Online Business Using Market Research

You have a brilliant idea for an online business but you’re not sure exactly where to start. If that describes your situation, then don’t panic. Every successful entrepreneur throughout history has stood where you are, gazing ahead at the vast ocean of opportunities while trying to find the courage to jump in.

The truth is that you can have a brilliant idea but there are several reasons why it could still potentially fail. Most success stories start with an idea being scribbled on a napkin in some backwater restaurant, which eventually leads to the foundation of an online business. We’re going to study the time between conception and foundation.

I Have an Idea; Now What?

For most entrepreneurs, getting the idea and envisioning the future are easy. It’s the step directly after conception that tends to cause the most havoc. It is also the most important step. Market research is not something that comes naturally. The huge red flag comes up when an idea is not met with a plan that reveals how it will solve an unmet problem in a specific market.

Our ideas are close to home – we’re so passionate about them that we tend to lose objectivity. So rather than taking the time to research our idea, we push ahead with the assumption that it’s going to succeed. This is the way unfocused businesses are created and the main reason why 90% of them fail.

We have got to prove the potential of the idea. The only way to do that is through market research. Even the best ideas are not going to be successful without the right market.

Action 1 – Analyse Your Product/Service

Get out a sheet of paper and list all of the features that your product/service will present. Once you have a full list of benefits, imagine someone you know who would most likely suffer from the problem that the product/service solves.

Action 2 – Define your Target Market

Now we’ll create the profile of our ideal customer. Imagine you are interviewing the same individual from the previous action. List all of the following attributes:

Age Location Gender
Income level Marital Status Family Status
Occupation Ethnic Background Personality
Attitude Values Interests
Hobbies Lifestyles Behaviour

Analyse Your Idea

At this point, you have a profile for your ideal customer so now we have to determine if our idea will hold up. We need to know whether or not the idea is a failure before we invest money into it.

Action 3 – Answer These Two Important Questions

  • Is it possible to reach this group with my message?
  • Can this person afford my product/service?

Action 4 – Research Keywords Related to Your Idea

The easiest place to start researching is by using Google Keyword Planner to see how many people are searching online for products/services related to your idea.

Action 5 – See What’s on Social Media

Examine social media to see just how many conversations are taking place related to your idea. You can also gain unique perspective into your target market. Probe all of the major social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use the same keywords you used in the action above to search for hashtags on each channel. You want a lot of people talking about topics related to your idea.

Action 6 – Build Your Website

If your idea has held up to this point, then it’s time to get your feet wet. You should build your website before you even think about developing the product or service. The idea is to get traffic coming to your website to learn about that you have to offer. Here are a couple of great sources to help you learn to build your own website:

How to Make a Website

How to Build a Website

Once your website is up and running, consider investing a small amount of money into Google and Facebook ads to start driving traffic.

Your website must clearly communicate your product/service and provide an estimated date of release. This helps you test the waters without risking a lot of money up front.

By this point, you have the foundation for your online business. As you move forward, you will want to further research your idea while developing it.

Article provided by:

Jacob Haney is a content marketer presently working with Research Optimus, a business research outsourcing company. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss himself in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.

Authored by: Pete Anderson

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