UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET
Entering a flooded market, a lack of manufacturing know-how, lack of logistical understanding, no distribution options and not understanding your market could cripple your launch. So solid planning is crucial.
Market research is a good way to get to understand your competitors. It involves collecting and analysing information about your own customers/clients as well as your competitors. The easiest way to conduct market research is by spending time surfing the internet or checking in with industry associations for their latest information and data. You can gather pricelists and flyers that your competitors produce, check out everything on their website, scan supermarket shelves or buy their products/services to get a better idea of what they offer. Look at what they do better than you’re planning to do – investigate price, quality, customer service and the professionalism and effectiveness of their marketing materials.
If you want to go to the next level, you can try to gather information yourself by using questionnaires, surveys or other research tools. And if you have the money to spare, you could hire a commercial research agency to do the work for you.
Another useful exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis to see where you fit alongside your competitors. A SWOT is a great way to identify your areas of strength, weakness, opportunity and threat. If you want to go a bit further, you can divide your SWOT into internal and external factors to give you a clearer picture of where your business sits in the market. Once you complete your SWOT, you can turn the results into a list of goals for your business.