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How to Use Small Business Market Research to Grow?

How to Use Small Business Market Research to Grow?


Many small businesses overlook the importance of market research. However, this core business function isn’t just for corporations; businesses of all sizes can benefit from collecting and analyzing market data.

There are several types of market research to try, but knowing how to apply it can be a barrier. Here are some practical ways to use small business market research to grow.

Understand Customer Motivations

Conducting market research can help you understand why your customers feel or act the way they do. When you gather consumer opinions, you create a connection between your offerings and your customer’s needs. Furthermore, as the intention of a product or service is to solve a customer problem, this information can be enlightening.

Learning about your customer motivations also helps you craft your marketing to create a deeper emotional connection. Purchasing is 95% emotional and 5% logical. This data can go beyond why a customer might need your product to what compels a customer to choose you over the competition. 

Uncover New Market Opportunities

You don’t know what you don’t know. Many small businesses start with a clear idea of their ideal customer— the demographic most likely to purchase a product. Having this information available supports the creation of compelling marketing content. Contrary to popular belief, focusing on a niche doesn’t limit your horizons; it helps you attract the people most likely to buy.

However, many businesses start to look at the data and see a new demographic they could target as well. Market research can also identify new or adjacent offerings or potential partnerships to help you expand your reach and grow.

Analyze the Competition

Market research can also help you keep an eye on the competition. Some things to evaluate when assessing the competition include:

  • business growth
  • estimated annual revenue
  • product offerings
  • pricing strategy
  • market share
  • business size (number of employees/ locations)
  • culture and voice
  • customer service gaps
  • marketing collateral

The goal when analyzing the competition is not to copy their formula, but to find gaps in their approach. Moreover, take some time to understand what they do well and how they stand apart from you. Then, look at what they aren’t doing well so you can create a strategy to step in and fill the void for your customers.


Validate New Ideas

Creating new products or service offerings is costly and time-consuming. While it’s difficult to kill a project before it launches, it’s sometimes a cruel necessity.

Conducting market research during the product launch cycle can help validate an idea, and ensure someone will pay for it before you invest more resources. Furthermore, you should plan market research throughout the process. First, to ensure there’s a demand for your new offering. Then, continuously find notes for improvement.

Many product-based businesses conduct small business research by hosting a focus group with a product prototype, like in-home usage tests ihuts. Services may hold a beta launch for a small group of qualified leads to get feedback before doing a full launch.

Improve Existing Offerings

There’s always room for improvement with existing offerings. In addition, conduct market research to see what customers say about your existing offerings and request feedback regarding improvements. Remember the Four P’s of marketing:

  • product
  • price
  • placement
  • promotion

Sometimes, it’s not the product itself that’s an issue, but one of the other P’s. For example, your pricing or payment plan options may be inappropriate for the product and market. Conversely, your promotion showcasing the value of your product may be insufficient.

Requesting feedback from converted customers, unconverted customers, and dissatisfied customers can help you refine your approach.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are several types of small business market research, each with pros and cons. Some of the best approaches include:

  • feedback surveys
  • focus groups
  • interviews
  • SWOT analysis
  • Secondary research (browsing research conducted by others)

Use market research to make data-driven decisions about your small business, so you can grow and thrive. 


CIA Deputy Director Jennifer Ewbank on Defending America in the 21st Century

How to Use Small Business Market Research to Grow?