Researching your markets

You have an idea; you think it will make a great business and you’re determined to go ahead with it. But how do you know people will buy into it?

It’s always a great idea to gather people’s thoughts and whether they would buy into your idea but are you getting the quality responses you require?

Those closest to you are usually the ones you would immediately turn to but they’re also the ones most likely to tell you what you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about your customer’s buying habits or how much they might pay for a new product, market research can help (if you use it correctly).

Below we have highlighted a few ways of garnering market research to ensure your idea is market-ready…

Online survey

Asking friends and family can be helpful to an extent but when it comes to investing your hard-earned cash in a new business, you need brutal honesty.

A great way of gathering quality views is through an online survey, taking the pain out of printing, distributing and collecting physical surveys.

Websites such as SurveyMonkey offer a free platform to create surveys which can be easily shared via social media or email.

The results are then collected in and automatically turned into charts and graphs, making the process a whole lot easier.

This makes the process of presenting your findings so much easier.

Market data

There are a range of websites you can use to find market data from consumer trends all the way through to how prices of products and services have changed over the years.

The best place to start is the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.

Other places you will be able to find valuable and quality information are places like YouGov, the British Library’s Business & IP Centre and if you want specific company information, Companies House.

Focus groups

Having already established your ideal customer profile, another great way of gathering some quality research is through focus groups.

Focus groups allow you to bring a group of people together to hold a discussion about what it is your looking to do and help gather some valuable information.

The group interviews can save time and money compared to individual interviews and provide a broader range of information.

Our top tip: Make sure you hold more than one focus group, each with different people. You are more likely to gather a range of views and gather more quality information.


Last but not least, it may seem obvious but one of the first things to do when launching a new product or service is to google it. It may have been done before or you may stumble across something similar. You never know what you might find!