It’s important to do research, even if you’re a small business

It is impossible to sell products or services that customers do not want. Learning what customers want, and how to present it attractively, drives the need for marketing research. Small business has an edge over larger concerns in this regard. Large businesses must hire experts to study the mass market, while small-scale entrepreneurs are close to their customers and can learn much more quickly about their buying habits. Small business owners have a sense their customers’ needs from years of experience, but this informal information may not be timely or relevant to the current market.

Marketing research focuses and organizes marketing information. It ensures that such information is timely and permits entrepreneurs to:

Reduce business risks
Spot current and upcoming problems in the current market
Identify sales opportunities
Develop plans of action

Source: United States Small Business Administration

There is some great Australian Small Business relevant information here:

http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/market-research-and-statistics

Research Techniques here:
http://excel4marketing.com/collecting-information.html

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