Every viable business is born from some form of business research. Why? Because you can’t start something without figuring out whether it is first possible and second probable. Conducting business research provides the opportunity to take a step back and really look at the idea from all angles. Entrepreneurs are by nature passionate, driven people. This is can create problems with objectivity. Not taking the time to consider the viability and probability of an idea -- but rather, charging ahead and trying to execute on something -- is a recipe for disaster.
What may be holding many would-be business owners back is the issue of how to do business research. Consider something as simple as checking whether or not a trademark or patent exists on an idea. That research can be conducted in less than five minutes over the Internet. I know, I know -- business research can seem intimidating (or to some, a waste of time). But it is entirely possible, and absolutely crucial to get a business off on the right footing.
In order to better understand your business idea's likelihood for success, start by conducting these three simple and critical business research exercises:
Executing this easy, three-question feasibility study will help you discover the most important question of all -- whether or not your home business idea is even a good one. Starting here will allow you to take the first hard look at your business to determine if it is flawed, destined to fail or a true winner. Once you have a green light on your business idea
, move onto the second exercise.
Now that you know you have a sound business idea, it is time to conduct market research
. This article teaches you simple methods to help you gain a better understanding of your market, potential customers and competitive environment. Completing this exercise will give you a solid 360-degree view of the lay of the land.
This final business research exercise is my favorite. It is an easy way to garner a lot of information about your potential business on one, easy-to-understand page. There is incredible value in conducting a SWOT analysis. What is a SWOT analysis? A SWOT analysis is simply the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats currently facing your business. This article will teach you how to conduct a quick SWOT analysis and give you a real-world example