Market Research will point you in the right direction


Why spend time, effort and money setting up your business, only to find an identical product is already being sold elsewhere, or that customers simply don’t want to pay for the service you’re offering?

Unfortunately, asking your mates if they think you have a good idea for a business probably won’t be enough! A more honest and reliable response to your idea will likely come from a number of people in your target market, or from a cross-section of the public.

Simple market research ideas

Information can be obtained through written questionnaires, face-to-face surveys, online surveys and focus groups.

People often look at the first few questions on a questionnaire before deciding whether or not to complete it. To encourage people to complete your questionnaire, make the first few questions the most engaging. Questions should be simple and understandable, and at the same time meaningful and interesting. Any technical terms should be clearly explained. Avoid ‘biased’ or ‘leading’ questions – be careful not to lead the respondent into giving the answer we would like to receive! If your questionnaire is simple, concise and quick to complete, people will be more likely to complete it.

If conducting face-to-face surveys with members of the public, approach people who appear unhurried and relaxed. Be friendly and positive, even if people are unwilling to participate. Again, ask questions that are easy to answer and always thank respondents for their time.

Focus groups are helpful to explore people’s attitudes, behaviour, views and concerns on new products or marketing ideas.

They are usually run for a fee by professional marketing companies on behalf of their client, the business owner.

The focus group consists of small group of volunteers who meet in a conference room together with a trained moderator. It is the moderator’s job to lead the discussion, ask questions, listen to the responses and provide results and feedback to their client. One disadvantage is that the focus group is small and may not be representative of public opinion in general.

Results of your research

The results of your market research, whichever method you use, should give you a good indication of:

• The demand for your product or service
• Customer buying behaviour and attitudes
• Customer awareness of a product or service.

This knowledge will help you determine how best to promote your product or service.


Decide which method would produce the most helpful results for your business:

Written questionnaire?
Face-to-face survey?
Focus group?

Contact The McMahon Osborne Team today on (03) 9744 7144 for assistance with your action plan.

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