If you are like many others, coming with your business idea was probably the easiest step for you but the question “is my entrepreneurial idea viable?” will make you restless; probably give you sleepless nights for a long time to come. If you thought you are alone at this phase, don't worry, that is not the case. For most entrepreneurs, coming up with a business idea, its execution and operations is the easy part but they get stuck about identifying their market.
Market Research is used to find out if an entrepreneurial idea is viable, which usually follow 4 steps:
A business idea is analyzed in terms of a company's products and services. The company’s personality, its association with quality, brand image and key messages the company is laying to its customers are some of the factors that are used by market researchers to identify if customers are going to buy the core promises of a new product. Needless to say, a start-up usually needs to establish a brand presence, which means it will be a lot harder to identify the customer willingness to accept a product from them.
A product or service is marketed to 3 types of customers, no matter if yours is a start-up or an established brand. They are 1) purchases, 2) influencers and 3) end users. The end user directly interact with your product or service while influencers determine the purchase and purchaser is the one who pay for it. How is your product going to be perceived in these 3 categories? Do you have the necessary expertise to find them? Can you hire an expensive resource – a market researcher – to find out this information?
Competition is hard to define for some businesses. There is indirect and direct competition and identifying the former is usually a tough job. Understanding that you are competing with and how to tailor your product and marketing plan to beat the competition is very important to position your product in the market.
Organizations and People associated with your product or service, interested in your product or see a potential in your product are potential collaborators. They would like to get paid directly or indirectly from your business.
Although these are the 4 crucial factors that decide if your entrepreneurial idea is viable or not, there are other research methodologies such as SWOT analysis that helps you come up with the right conclusions.
Although an experienced market researcher can help you to come up with rational conclusions about the viability of any product or service, a good market researcher is very expensive and most start-ups and small businesses can't afford someone with good quality standards. Market research is one area where you SHOULD NOT settle for someone short of 'BEST.'
However, that doesn't mean you should shell out most of your money on finding someone good. You can keep it affordable too. iGoStartup's Basic Startup Pack is industry's best market research tool that finds out if your entrepreneurial idea is viable or not. The tool "Is My Entrepreneurial Idea Viable?" also gives various insights such as competition, cost and time-frame for break-in. Instead of hiring an expensive market researcher, it is better to invest your money in this tool and reach on a conclusion based on the data it generates.