By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd – April 2009
Big corporate companies with very deep pockets spend hundreds of thousands of Rands with professional market researchers because they want to find out ‘what people want’!
As small business owners, we certainly do not have deep pockets and quite frankly we don’t need to use professional market researches. We can do it ourselves.
Here are some ideas on how to go about it.
- Take a field trip, ask questions of the people that you meet along the way. Find out from them how your product or service would benefit them. Will it satisfy their needs? Will it make a difference to them?
- Change YOUR mindset. Get out of YOUR comfort zone. THINK out of the box. Speak to people who have succeeded. Find out how they did it, what they did and when they did it. Learn from them. It is not necessary for you to learn only through the mistakes that you make.
- Meet with other business owners, brainstorm with them. Ask them what they have done, what they have learnt. Ask them to tell you how to avoid the mistakes that they have perhaps made.
- Research! And when you think you have finished researching – research some more! Read reports, both old and new that pertain to whatever your industry is. Look at what strategy is best for you. Look at the latest trends and see how you could slot what it is that you do in there.
- Keep a record of your ideas, make notes, open a file and keep everything. I promise you, you will go back to refresh your memory or add to your list on a very frequent basis.
Be prepared to be flexible – learn to adapt and change.
Above all – don’t forget to have fun! Remember why you went into business for yourself in the first place. Never lose sight of your goals! Always, always, always recognize and reward your own achievements, no matter how small.
Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.viljoenconsulting.co.za