The Best Market Research Guide for Your Startup

Learn 6 Top Steps to a Successful Market Research for Your Startup.



  1. Define Your Startups Objective.
  2. Plan Your Research Design
  3. Design Your Research Tool
  4. Collect the Data
  5. It’s Time to Analyze the Data
  6. Communicate The Data And Visualize The Results

It’s an open secret that getting a startup to succeed is an uphill battle. In fact, statistics show 30% of startups fail within the first three years. What damning statistics! The exciting bit is these startups that fail are not just businesses that conduct side hustles part-time. They are startups with serious funding to back them.

Do you know why these startups fail? Figures show these businesses flop due to lack of planning. With cutthroat competition, well-implemented ideas in the marketplace, only startups with commitment and focus can survive. The great news is with proper market research; we can reduce these statistics.


What is the process of conducting Market research?

With proper due diligence, good planning, and well-timed decision making, the likelihood of succeeding in your startup is high. This aspect starts will sound market research. Although market research may not be easy, with the right tools, proper information, you will find it a breeze. Here are the steps you need to take for successful market research for your startup.


1. Define Your Startups Objective


This element is the first and most crucial step in market research. You have to define the objective of the startup or project you are undertaking. In other words, what is the critical business problem that you are trying to address? Also, you can ask yourself the market opportunity issue that needs to be answered by the market research.

Since you lack the information to answer the question, then you conduct market research. The market analysis should answer the question with some solid facts and data. Examples of “business problems” for startups can be “How can we price this burger?” or “Which is the best location for the store?” among others.


2. Plan Your Research Design


Consider a research design as a comprehensive blueprint of attack. It refers to the type of market research that will obtain the data you need to answer your startup problem. See? If your objective is clear, then the market research becomes focused.

At this stage, you determine the market research method. Is it primary or secondary research? Primary can include focus group discussions, interviews, and so on. For a secondary study, you use resources found on the internet. Always remember to keep the end goal in mind. What will your research report look like? This will align you with the type of data you are supposed to collect.


3. Design Your Research Tool


Here, you design the instrument you are going to use to collect the data. Remember, this depends on the business problem and data you would like to collect. Assuming your tool is a survey, you can start by crafting the questions to ask.

If your tool is a focused group discussion guide, design interview questions for the moderator. I think you have the idea by now. This is the stage where you execute the plan. After designing the instrument, it’s time for testing.

Ensure to pilot your instrument. This stage involves using a small group of people to test the tool before going to the field. Once you get some sample data, observe it in a spreadsheet. Are there any issues with the structure of your tool? Is there a proper flow? This allows you to detect any problems early.

Never skip this stage. Do you know why? You will always find an issue you can fix before deploying the survey.


4. Collect the Data


This is the core of your project. It’s crucial to have a team of trained researchers to administer the tool. Collect the choices, observations, or answers in a spreadsheet form. Each piece of information is significant and will form a section of conclusions from the research.


5. It’s Time to Analyze the Data


So what do you do with loads of raw data? This depends on the method of collection. You could be having sheets of paper or in a spreadsheet form. Either way, you need to restructure it before starting your analysis.

Once done, it’s time to run the data. You can use the tool of your choice, either Excel, SPSS, among others. Build graphs, tables, charts, and segment them in groups depending on the insights you need. This could be grouped by segment, age, gender, and others.


6. Communicate The Data And Visualize The Results


After taking considerable time building graphs, comes my favorite part; coming up with insights. It’s time to compile the most significant insights to build a report. The best practice of compiling the report is by starting with the business objectives.

Identify the business problems and start addressing each issue based on the findings. It’s crucial to note that charts and tables do not mean much. What matters are insights, recommendations, and answers. This aspect is what sets your research apart from the rest. This element makes the research more actionable.

Some of the insights you can come up with include, key trends, main competitors, and market opportunity, among others.


What Now?

What if you are a startup with a small budget? Don’t worry. You can conduct secondary market research. There is plenty of information online if you look at the right places. Where do you start? The local library. University and public libraries can direct you to the right place.

Always check the commerce reference segment and familiarize yourself with it. You may spend quite some time there. Also, industry trade associations can offer a wealth of knowledge. This can range from market statistics, members, and reference materials.

To get more information about your target customers, ensure to read some trade journals to understand current and future trends. Magazines and newsletters geared towards your target customer can give an idea of buyer patterns. All this, you can also get online.


Parting Words

Startups should invest in some market research before using lots of money in an idea. This not only helps in fixing a product or idea early but also avoids costly mistakes. So whether you have the resources for primary or secondary research, validating an idea with facts is crucial. Proper industry insights are the ticket to minimizing the statistics of failure among startups.  

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