Market Research

Sadly, far too many start-ups, and for that matter established businesses, fail to grasp the importance of the concept of what market research is to the very survival of their business. This is borne out of the fact that some 60% of start ups fail to make it to their second year.

Market Research basically boils down to two simple research processes that are often referred to as ‘desk’ research and ‘field’ research.

Desk Research

This is literally what it says. Getting behind a desk and researching

  • Banks

  • Libraries

  • Local Authorities

  • Newspapers

  • Internet

Field Research

Your desk research will give answers only to so many of your questions; the rest will depend on you doing some leg work and practical research.


Surveys – obtain information direct from your potential customers. If this is not possible then prepare a market research questionnaire. Try and get it filled in, in front of the potential customer but if not send it through the post.

Example of a Survey

A wholesale baker was considering opening up a retail concern in the Sheffield Meadowhall complex selling bread, sandwiches and other confectionery products. He was offered a unit off one of the main shopping malls. His research involved spending a couple of days researching the competition at the complex, the products they sold and their position. He even made polite conversation with the counter assistants from which he was able to obtain useful information. Finally he stood outside the vacant unit offered to him and counted the number of people passing.

All this information was drawn together which culminated in him opening at the complex and many years on having a very successful retail operation.