So, you’ve come up with what you think is a brilliant business idea – it’s going to blow the socks off the competition! There’s just one little thing; the key to all good business plans is research. You might think your idea is out of this world, but you need some objective feedback and evidence to prove you’ve got what it takes. It is all too easy top get carried away with your own idea seeking a non biased opinion. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to research your brilliant business idea.

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#1. Hold a focus group

A focus group is good for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows you to interact with your target market and get honest opinions, whilst receiving feedback and constructive criticism. Secondly, there’s nothing more reassuring than a roomful of parents telling you they like your idea for a children’s toy. A focus group will help you to see where you can improve your product or service.

#2. Use social media

You can use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage when it comes to researching a business idea – start a discussion around your product or service and see what the general consensus is. Or, if you’ve already launched your product, use social media to gather a following who might be interested in buying it. Social media is a great way to interact with potential customers, and puts some personality behind your brand. If the product is already out there a good indicator of popularity is the rate of likes, comments, shares retweets etc on social media.

#3. Carry out market research

Using market research to gather information on a business idea is a fantastic idea as it allows you to find out what consumers think of your product or service, whilst targeting a wider audience. Whether you use traditional market research such as heading out on the street with a survey, or carry out your research online using online surveys, there’s no better way to get feedback from the world at large on your idea. Sure, you might end up going back to the drawing board to improve your idea, but at least you’ll know what people think!

#4. Research online

You can use the internet to carry out your own research when creating your business plan – finding out information about your competitors, identifying a gap in the market and looking at current trends in the industry to ensure your business gets off to a great start. The internet opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to carrying out research, so whether you’re a bit of a techy type or don’t have a clue where to start, you’ll find what you’re looking for online.

#5. Speak to those in the know

If you’re lucky enough to already have a network of business contacts or know friends who work in the industry, don’t be afraid to ask them for their honest advice. Somebody with several years of experience in the field will easily be able to tell you exactly what they think of your idea and whether it’s likely to work – although friends may tend to sugar-coat their opinions! By speaking to people who already work in your target industry, you can find out whether your idea needs any tweaking before you launch your business!

 

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