With the advent of the internet in recent decades, the ability to gather competitive, marketing and management advantages into your business has exploded. There are literally thousands of resources for gaining insight into your particular market without ever spending a dime. A simple web search is all that is needed to yield all sorts of data on your competitors in terms of their pricing, products, customers and target markets. By knowing what your competition is up to you, can then tailor your marketing, pricing and other business decisions with a simple click of the mouse. The internet is certainly a valuable research tool in gaining traction into your new businesses market.

Social marketing:
Twitter, Facebook and email are all key tools to use to determine your potential customers’ needs and wants, as well as providing some exciting entertainment when launching into your new business venture. While social marketing is a valuable commodity, you need to be careful as we have all seen horror stories about how one bad Tweet or Facebook post can ruin your hard earned reputation. So it is important to realize both the exciting opportunities and numerous pitfalls when implementing your social marketing strategy.

Ask people:
Doing your own research is still a valuable way to gain specific insight into your patrons needs, wants and desires. In addition to the above technical options to target and expand your business, it is just as prudent to take the time to actually go out and meet your customers to find out what exactly they are looking to gain in value from you and your company’s efforts. If you are the type who likes to go out and meet people (a key trait for any successful business proprietor) you will already have a distinct advantage in that you may be seen as likeable and engaging with your customers and thus they will come back to your business whenever their needs warrant.

Remember to “run the gamut”:
What we mean by this is that it is imperative to make sure you are implementing multiple strategies when gaining insight into your target market when starting a business. Doing just one of the aforementioned will not be sufficient and limit the scope of your research. This can have detrimental consequences when it comes to actually promoting, pricing, producing, and selling your particular product or service offering.