Researching Home Business Markets

Research is vital for any new business project before it gets off the drawing board and into the planning stage, especially for an online business.

There is a multitude of sites out there so you need to know exactly what you are getting into before you rush ahead, spending money on a fancy website, only to find there are several hundred already doing the same thing.

Other articles in the How To section of this website stress the importance of research.  In this article Paula Wynne, successful businesswoman and author of 'Create A Successful Website' looks at how we gain an understanding of our home business markets.

Research your market thoroughly before starting up your home business from your list of new business opportunities and ideas

Research is vital for any project, especially for an online business. There is a multitude of sites out there so you need to know exactly what you are getting into before you rush ahead, spending money on a fancy website, only to find there are several hundred already doing the same thing

 

Thoughtful Tip

I find it handy to use a personal tape recorder or Dictaphone. It
it goes pretty much everywhere with me in case I can’t make notes. A BlackBerry, iPhone and other fancy mobiles can also do this.

 

Possible Questions

  • Do you currently buy this product or service?
  • If it were available, would you buy it?
  • How much would you pay for it?
  • What else would affect your decision to buy it?

Research List

Researching your business idea is just the beginning. Create a list of other subjects you need to investigate. Start with a few simple tasks and keep adding to the list as you think of new ones.

Here are a few examples to get you going or keep a Word document or spreadsheet with all the details.

  • Make contacts.
  • You may need to interview experts, depending on your site and your specialty, this could even be professionals.
  • Start meeting and getting to know some of the people who could help you down the line.
  • Check out potential domain names.
  • Research developers for your website – more to come.
  • Check out the competition - what they do best and worst.
  • What are their colours, fonts and designs?
  • What you do better or can do differently? More on this in Branding.
  • Why should your visitors buy from you?
  • What trends, styles and development will you pursue?

"Know your buyer" seems such a basic phrase when setting up a home business but you should never take a customer for granted.  Here's to many happy (customer) returns!

Award-winning entrepreneur of social networking site, iHubbub, and author of ‘Create A Successful Website’ and Pimp My Site, Paula Wynne is co-founder of iHubbub, a home business social community.

 

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